This pilot project is an initiative of the Medicine Hat, Grande Prairie, and Alberta Construction Associations funded by the Government of Alberta. The second year of the pilot will add other regions of the province.

The project assists contractors develop and retain workers during ups and downs in the volume of work by facilitating temporary loans between trusted contractors.

ACA and MHCA assisted PadCar Mechanical, Medicine Hat in lending workers to DMT Business Group, Lethbridge for work at the MCF feedlot in Brooks. PadCar loaned as many as 5 journeymen to DMT over a number of weeks. The workers remained on PadCar’s payroll and benefits. DMT gave the workers the choice of temporary accommodation in Brooks or receiving wages for travel time. DMT paid PadCar wages and mileage allowance.

Here’s what Dave Janecke (PadCar) and Darren Guenther (DMT) had to say about the loan:

Dave: “PadCar wouldn’t have been able to maintain full staff without the loan. Others in the team would have been laid off, so the loan was good for morale for the entire team. DMT treated our guys very well, there was no negatives. The guys even earned overtime hours. The work was a little bit different, bigger pipe, more pipefitting, so the experience was great for the guys. You can’t be afraid to work with competitors. On any given pursuit, one contractor is going to win and one is going to lose. Why beat each other up after the pursuit is decided?”

Darren: “The PadCar guys worked out great. They had great skills. It’s difficult sometimes for your own guys to work out of town so having the PadCar guys travel worked really well and they were home every night back in Medicine Hat. DMT would definitely work with PadCar again and is open to partnering with other contractors as our projects in Brooks continue. People need to get creative and go out of their comfort zone and learn to work with trusted competitors. Thinking that you can rehire a laid off employee when work picks up, the laid off employee may not be available when you need them.”

There are more than a dozen contractors participating in the Grande Prairie and Medicine Hat regions. Participating contractors share monthly updates with the associations regarding the surplus or shortage of workers they anticipate and the associations facilitate the loans through a checklist of items for the two contractors to agree on.

To register in the project, please fill out this brief form.