Edmonton's PCL Named #1 in Canada

Locally-based construction company is best to work for in the country

BY EMIL TIEDEMANN

IN Report on Business magazine's 11th annual list of the "50 Best Employers in Canada," Edmonton-based PCL Constructors came out on top, recognizing the 104-year-old construction & engineering firm as the best place to work for in the nation!

"Being named the best workplace in Canada is a tremendous accomplishment for our organization and a crowning achievement for our employees who are so passionate about PCL," said Paul Douglas, the president and chief executive officer of PCL.

"Our people take great pride in aspiring to be the very best at what they do," Douglas continued in a news release last week. "Their dedication to excellence and leadership leads to a workplace where people come to work every day wanting to do what they can to deliver unsurpassed value to our customers."

ROB's list (in association with Hewitt Associates) took several important factors into consideration when coming up with the list, including employee engagement, a company's "collective energy," and how well employees work with their leaders in coming together for a mutual vision. PCL came in at #2 last year, behind London-based EllisDon Corp., which came in at #2 this year.

PCL, which currently employs more than 2,000 Canadians, was founded in 1906 as E.E. Poole Contractors, by Stoughton, Saskatchewan native Ernest Poole. From the Stoughton area the growing business relocated to Moose Jaw in 1913, and then to Regina in 1914, and was renamed Poole Construction Company Limited. It moved again in 1932, this time to Edmonton, which has remained PCL's headquarters for the last 78 years.

Ernest's sons John & George Poole bought the company in 1948, only to sell it to its employees in 1977, shortly before rechristening it PCL Construction Limited. To this day PCL remains employee-owned and has become Canada's largest general contracting organization, and the eighth largest in the States, with current revenue projections at $6 billion.

Some of the more well-known projects that PCL has erected include Edmonton's Essex Building (1961), Toronto's Scotia Plaza (1984) and BCE Place (1992), Vancouver's Alex Fraser Bridge (1986), Franklin, Tennessee's Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge (1993), Los Angeles' Staples Center (1999), and the upcoming Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, set to open in 2012. PCL also worked on the 1950 expansion project of our Macdonald Hotel.

The 100% employee-owned firm lists "honesty, integrity, respect, dynamic culture, and passion" as their core values, a corporate recipe that seems to be working.

In addition to PCL there were three other Edmonton-based companies who made ROB's "50 Best Employers" roundup, in Canadian Western Bank at #35, ATB Financial at #36, and Clark Builders at #47.

More than 100,000 employees and 1,200 leaders completed confidential surveys to determine the rank of the 134 organizations that registered to participate. In order to be eligible each business must have at least 400 permanent employees in Canada, and have operated in the country for at least three years. For the complete list click here.

Now, gotta go update my resumè!
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