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Ventana Construction lends skills to Burnaby Habitat for Humanity project

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by Journal Of Commerce

Lower Mainland firm Ventana Construction Corporation is sending out workers, from both site and office, to donate their time and effort to Habitat for Humanity’s Greater Vancouver townhouse project, located in Burnaby.
Ventana Construction Corporation and its staff are helping to build a Habitat for Humanity townhouse project in Burnaby. Habitat for Humanity homes are primarily built by volunteers with donated funds and materials.
Ventana Construction Corporation and its staff are helping to build a Habitat for Humanity townhouse project in Burnaby. Habitat for Humanity homes are primarily built by volunteers with donated funds and materials.

Burnaby

With a booming economy, Vancouver’s construction community is busier than ever. But even with so many high-end residential, commercial and industrial projects on the go, some companies are still making time to help the less fortunate by donating their time, skill and energy to a good cause.

Lower Mainland firm Ventana Construction Corporation is sending out workers, from both site and office, to donate their time and effort to Habitat for Humanity’s Greater Vancouver townhouse project, located in Burnaby.

Habitat for Humanity builds simple, decent, affordable houses and provides interest-free mortgages to selected low income families who would otherwise not be able to purchase their own home. The homes are primarily built by volunteers with donated funds and materials. Future homeowners contribute 500 hours of “sweat equity” towards the construction of their own home and those of others.

By helping to build their own home, Habitat families, working alongside others, reduce construction costs while building pride of ownership. “We’ve had a few good years in the industry, and we wanted to give something back to the community,” Ventana director of projects Maurice Creagh said.

“Working on the Habitat project was a new challenge for Ventana’s skilled workers, as they were leading volunteers instead of trained colleagues. We have a terrific pair of supervisors, Tom Roberts and Dan Aird, who really took this on as their own project, applying their experience and efficiency to the project and moving things forward quickly,” Creagh said.

“It was a different experience from their usual environment, but our employees and Habitat’s volunteers worked well together. Others in the office had experience, but hadn’t done physical work for a few years, though they were soon able to get back up to speed. Even the “unskilled” workers quickly got into the job,” Creagh said.

“I’ve worked in Ventana’s office for 12 years, so by the end of a day working on Habitat’s site I was absolutely exhausted.

It really made me appreciate what our guys do on site every day,” executive assistant Bev Kennedy said.

But while Ventana is able to lend their skills to the Habitat project and accelerate the building process, there are still vital roles that go unfilled, Kennedy said. “As well as volunteered time and labour, there is a need for financial sponsorship,” she said. “If others in our industry donated to Habitat for Humanity and other worthy projects, imagine what we could accomplish,” Creagh added.

Independent Contractors and Businesses Association President Philip Hochstein was happy to voice his support for the contributions of Ventana employees to the Habitat project.

“Habitat for Humanity is a great cause that we in the construction industry can directly contribute to with our own two hands. It’s important that we don’t forget that with prosperity comes the responsibility for the entire industry to help those less fortunate using the skills we can uniquely contribute,” Hochstein said.

JOC NEWS SERVICE

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