MHCA assists heavy construction industry workers, leaders of tomorrow


Zach Zimmerman on his job site at E F Moon

Zach Zimmerman was hired by E.F. Moon upon graduation

Heavy construction workers of tomorrow are getting a hand up in pursuing construction management studies at Red River College, thanks to two bursaries funded by the MHCA.

MHCA believes that supporting students financially will provide a better learning experience, and the bursaries help highlight the need for skilled trades workers in Manitoba and across Canada.

MHCA presents two awards per year to deserving students who enter or are enrolled in the Construction Management Degree Program at RRC. The Manitoba Heavy Construction Association Construction Management Entrance Student Award is available to students who are entering or are in the first year of the program, and the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association Cornerstone Award is available to students in any year of the program. Both awards are valued at $2,000 and presented to students who show financial need, and who have a strong commitment to their education.

Ten students in the past 5 years have received the awards, for a total $16,000 in financial assistance.

The Cornerstone Award recognizes the MHCA’s past Board Chairs who, since 1945, have laid the foundation upon which the MHCA has built its advocacy at all levels of the government, its contributions to public policy and in the services, such as safety and health training, delivered to the heavy civil construction industry.

Recent grad Zach Zimmerman was awarded both the Entry and Cornerstone award, which he credits for helping him to stay passionate about his career choice. He had three successful work placements with Sigfusson Northern Ltd. And, upon graduation, was hired as an Assistant Construction Manager with E.F. Moon Construction Ltd.

“Receiving an award from Manitoba Heavy Construction Association was an uplifting experience, especially as I’ve never been recognized like this before. While the award directly contributed towards my tuition, it inspired me to continue striving in my studies and maintain my passion for earthworks,” said Zimmerman. He said he enjoys his work in the heavy civil field and expects to be with the industry for years to come in Manitoba.

MHCA President Chris Lorenc said the industry keenly feels it has a responsibility to support students in pursuing education and careers in the heavy civil construction industry.

“These students will graduate into roles needed on virtually every construction project across the country,” Lorenc noted. “It’s important for students to recognize that these skills and this industry are critical to ensuring our province grows its economy because it is our industry that builds the platforms to move people to work and goods to market.”

Staff and faculty at the College see a strong commitment and sense of pride from the students who are recognized with an award.

“The award recipients are all hard working and enthusiastic, both as students and as people. They have all been passionate about the heavy construction side of the construction industry,” said Shari Bielert, Chair of Civil Engineering Technology at RRC.

“When they are given these awards, students feel a sense of relief related to the financial pressures students experience, but I can see that they also pay attention to who is providing this financial gift to them,” Bielert said. “The students remember who helped them out and that will stay with them for all the time that they continue their path in the construction industry.”

Sukhjeet Brar received the Entrance Student Award this year and feels grateful she will be able to commit to her studies in construction management, relieved of some of the financial burden.

“These kinds of generous (awards) programs encourage students like me. Now I can give more time to my studies and my 13-month-old baby, where before I had to work part-time more days to help my family,” Brar said. “Providing awards to students changes their lives in positive ways and I am thankful to have been selected.”

For students interested in applying for awards, scholarships and bursaries at Red River College, please visit:

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