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Cambrian College Powerline Program Honours Two Long-time Supporters

Sep 21, 2023

Cambrian College honoured the Gatien family and the IHSA for their support and contributions to the college’s Powerline Technician program.

SUDBURY – Two significant partners are being honoured for their contributions to Cambrian College’s Powerline Technician program since its inception in 2006.

The Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) and the Gatien family (Clary, Dean, Wayne) have been long-time supporters of the program, the first of its kind at Ontario’s public colleges.

Clary Gatien created PowerTel in 1968. Wayne and Dean assumed ownership and management of PowerTel in 1988 until its eventual sale in 2014. During their tenure, the Gatien family and PowerTel played a crucial role by advocating for the implementation of a Powerline Technician program at Cambrian College. Additionally, the family extended its support, making regular equipment and material donations and actively participating in Powerline’s Program Advisory Committee (PAC) and Local Apprentice Committee (LAC).

One of the pole fields is being renamed the Gatien Training Field in honour of the family’s contributions. This field is where students receive hands-on training and experience.

As the day’s celebrations unfolded, PowerNorth and the Gatien family surprised attendees by announcing a new philanthropic pledge of $25,000. This generous contribution aims to further enhance the educational journey of students enrolled in the Powerline Technician program.

“Our family has had a long and proud history in the electrical and utility industry and are strong supporters of Cambrian College,” says Dean Gatien, principal of DGG5 Advising, former Vice-President of PowerTel and a Cambrian alumni. “Seeing our family name on this field will be a continued reminder of the legacy of hard work, industry involvement, promotion of safe work methods and industry standards, as well as support for an industry that we have all worked in and loved. Clary was one of the early industry leaders in this province, and this is an amazing testament to all his hard work and effort.”

Every year, IHSA supports the Powerline Technician program through the donation of poles, wire and other materials for the training fields. IHSA also donates specialized tools for the building and maintaining of pole lines and offers discounted student materials and fees for extra certification sessions. IHSA also provides expert instructors as needed during training sessions in the pole yards, and has members serve on the Powerline Technician Program Advisory Committee. Finally, IHSA supports students through work placements.

For their continued support, the path connecting the Powerline training fields to the main campus has been named the IHSA Walkway.

“It is with immense pride that IHSA accepts this honour. The walkway is a great representation of the connection between education and work in the skilled trades, as well as the journeys we all take in our respective careers,” say Enzo Garritano, IHSA President and CEO. “The IHSA Walkway will include reminders of the importance of adhering to legislative requirements and organizational health and safety policy and procedures to work safe for life. This permanent honour is a reflection of IHSA’s longstanding relationship with Cambrian College, reaffirming our commitment to Cambrian’s Powerline Technician program and the well-being of young tradespeople in secure and thriving workplaces, free from incidents, injuries, illnesses, or fatalities.”

“We are truly grateful for the instrumental role the Gatien family has played as a founding partner of our Powerline Technician program. We are also immensely thankful to IHSA for their continued support, not only of our Powerline program, but of numerous additional trade and technology programs at Cambrian,” says Brian Lobban, Cambrian’s dean of skills training, engineering technology, and environmental studies. “Since the program’s inception, the unwavering commitment of community partners like the Gatien family and IHSA has propelled our Powerline Technician program to become one of the country’s best.”

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Cambrian College is Northern Ontario’s largest college, with more than 100 programs. Cambrian’s main campus is in Greater Sudbury, with satellite centres in Espanola and Little Current. For more information about Cambrian College, click here.

Are you an individual, business, organization, or donor who wants to see how Cambrian College can work with you? Visit our Partner + website here

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