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Erika Hurl, estimator, gained first-hand experience in the Student Mobility program at PCL Construction.Supplied

Growing up in Edmonton, Erika Hurl knew the PCL Construction logo and reputation long before she knew that PCL was where she would start her career in construction.

“No matter where you are in Canada, you’ve seen that logo – you don’t even have to be working in construction to know PCL,” says Hurl, who has worked as an estimator with the company for the past two years.

But what stuck with her most was the nature of projects that Canada’s largest contracting company takes on, such as hospitals, bridge rehabilitations and sports arenas.

“Community building is such a big part of my life,” says Hurl, who is an active volunteer with a not-for-profit organization for teenagers and young adults in the Edmonton community. “Part of why PCL always stuck out to me was so many of their projects really impact the community in a positive way.”

And she’s not alone. PCL finds that younger employees are seeking values-based organizations more than any previous generation.

It was a moment when, looking back, Hurl realized the possibility of blending her career and her passion for helping others.

“That was huge for me, because it proved that there’s an alignment between my own values and the company.”

Hurl’s first on-the-job experience with PCL was part of the company’s Student Mobility program, which helps students develop the professional skills to work on a variety of projects in different locations.

“I really wanted the experience to go to different places and try different things,” Hurl says.

The mobility program gave her a chance to leave Edmonton for a placement in Calgary, where she gained experience working on a new cancer centre. It clinched her desire to work with the company.

“I was determined to come back to PCL,” she says.

When a position opened in her hometown as an estimator, Hurl leapt at the opportunity, which allowed her to hone new skills on the job.

The company’s educational resources helped Hurl get up to speed quickly and develop a myriad of other proficiencies that she’s found invaluable in and outside of the workplace.

Through PCL, Hurl was nominated for the Accelerated Estimating and Construction Risk Management program, which helps expedite career progression and development.

Hurl has honed soft skills like personal accountability, emotional intelligence and interpersonal awareness through PCL’s college of construction. This suite of courses, open to every employee, complements the company’s ‘Leadership Academy.’ The individual insights gained can be deeply impactful.

“Through one of my development courses I figured out my purpose, to make meaningful connections every day with people who want to be where they are,” she says.

PCL’s learning and employee ownership culture, which gives all full-time employees the opportunity to become owners, is a big part of what Harmony Carter, vice-president of people and culture, sees as the secret to employee longevity and engagement at the company.

“No position has been the same year over year because we embrace the concept of finding places to add value to the organization and then we go do it,” says Carter, who started with the company 22 years ago as a co-op student.

“I attribute that in part to our employee ownership culture,” Carter says. “But as a values-driven organization, many of us are also driven by continuously learning and the sense of excitement that brings.”

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Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.

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