Our regional offices across the country are made up of many dedicated teams, comprised of talented tradespeople who are crucial to Modern Niagara’s goal of building and supporting communities where we live, learn, work, and heal. One of these notable groups is our electrical team at Modern Niagara. From retrofitting to working on new builds, our electrical team provides a wide range of services with experience and expertise. We spoke to Chris Deneault and Mitchel Weynerowksi, two members of our electrical team in Ottawa, to share their experiences and highlight the electrical service offerings at Modern Niagara.
Chris, an Electrical Foreman, detailed what a typical day might look like as part of the electrical team at Modern Niagara Ottawa (MNO).
“First thing in the morning I fill out a plan of the day, thinking ahead of what’s going on for the day, what are the hazards we’re going to be facing, and what the team will be focusing on to accomplish,” Chris said. “Then, before we go down to the site, we make sure that we have all the material and equipment we need before going down to the job box, ensuring that we are set up for success.”
“At this site we’re working on the slab, so we always start our day by going to the job box together and discussing a plan of attack for the day, then kind of branch out from there,” Chris commented.
Mitchel, a Journeyman Electrician from MNO, has been with Modern Niagara since 2016. Mitchel also outlined what a typical day looks like with his current work at the Zibi House project.
“Right now, a typical day for me involves using a Trimble to set up layouts, laying out decking and preparing to run core-line,” said Mitchel. “Once we have that layout we can proceed with running core-line throughout all our boxes and laying our electrical connections in the concrete, then we move to another floor where we do the same thing again until the building is done, then we eventually get to pull our wire and do pipe runs.”
Core line, made of flexible PVC, is the type of conduit that our electrical team installs in concrete slabs, which connect electrical boxes together. In the later stages of a job, the team pulls wire through the core line to complete the electrical circuits. A pipe run refers to the conduit that connects the boxes together to complete the electrical circuit.
“Overall, it really depends on the project, we’ve done so many projects and they all differ,” Mitchel mentioned. “We’re in the early stages of this project, once we get our slab it’ll be a lot more of the finishings, running BX in framework, doing all our BX runs, and installing light fixtures.”
“I’m working on a team of four right now,” Mitchel added. “Typically the teams are around four people, but as the jobs pick up in different areas of the building, we put together different crews to tackle all of the work.”
Furthermore, Chris also discussed the other teams and trades that the electrical team works closely with, and the dynamics of interacting with other teams on project sites.
“Currently we’re working on the slab, and a lot of the work that we do coincides with other trades, so mainly iron workers, carpenters, and the concrete company that we’re working alongside, so a lot of the work involves communicating well with them,” Chris added. “I try to work together with everyone and keep those good relationships, I don’t look at it like were the only trade out there and I really try view the job as a whole and work with everyone.”
Chris also highlighted the importance of being flexible and problem solving on sites, where you might find yourself working around numerous obstacles to get the job done.
“Things change on the fly at sites, for example, recently, a sheer wall was moved and we had a lot of core lines in that wall, so we kind of had to come up with a solution quickly, not necessarily focus on the problem but what the solution is going to be,” said Chris. “Thinking outside of the box on these sites is really important as well.”
As a part of the major projects division in Ottawa, Mitchel typically works on the larger projects around the city, another aspect of his work that he really enjoys.
“I really like being at a site from when the project is just a hole in the ground to when it turns into the final product at the end, it’s nice to be part of a job well done,” Mitchel added. “It’s also kind of fulfilling and makes you feel like you were a part of something.”
Similarly, amongst various elements of his work, Chris truly enjoys the process of seeing the projects from early planning stages to the finished product.
“I’ve been working with the Trimble, I’ve been doing that on a few jobs, and I really find it satisfying laying out a whole deck and then seeing it tie all together,” Chris mentioned. “What I really love is at the end of the day when the lights turn on, it’s very fulfilling to see the end result when everything is complete and all systems are functioning as they should, that’s what I love about my work.”
Chris also spoke about his positive experience with the electrical team at MNO, and the key role that teamwork plays in the group’s success.
“I’ve been with Modern for about four years and honestly, they’re definitely the best contractor I’ve worked for, it’s just a great group of people,” said Chris. “There are so many different parts of Modern that I like but I find that they really emphasize the team and the group mindset that makes everyone want to work better and accomplish things together, it’s almost like a group of friends really.”
Mitchel also emphasized his appreciation of the group in Ottawa and how being a part of the electrical team is one of the most positive aspects of his work with Modern.
“We have an awesome group here in Ottawa for electrical, a lot of very intelligent people, and it makes the day run smoother when you have a lot of people around you that you trust and get along with well,” Mitchel affirmed. “Modern Niagara’s the best company I’ve worked with for sure and I’m proud to be a member.”
For those who are interested in pursuing a career in electrical, or just starting out in the trade, Mitchel pointed to the importance of perseverance and dedication in setting yourself up for the best possible future.
“Don’t give up, starting in the trades can be rough and you won’t always get the best jobs at first, I think it turns a lot of people off from pushing through,” Mitchel noted. “However, being an electrician is the best thing I’ve ever done, so I’d say just keep your head down and work hard, because the harder you work, the more things will go your way.”