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Cambrian College lauds powerline program supporters

Gatien family, IHSA legacies enshrined on campus grounds
The Gatien family were honoured by Cambrian College for their enduring support of the powerline technician program (Supplied photo)

Two long-time boosters of Cambrian College’s powerline technician program were recognized for their support in Sudbury, Sept. 21.

One of the college’s training pole fields is being named after the Gatien family of Sudbury, while the path connecting the powerline training fields to the main campus has been named the IHSA (Infrastructure Health and Safety Association) Walkway.

Family-owned PowerTel, a transmission contractor, was started by the Gatien family in 1968 and remained in the hands of two generations until the company's sale in 2014. 

The college said in a news release that company founder Clary Gatien was a pivotal figure in advocating for the powerline technician program at Cambrian, which started in 2006. The family helped support the program over the years with equipment and material donations and serving in advisory roles and with apprenticeships.

During the occasion, the Gatiens and PowerNorth announced a pledge of $25,000, earmarked for students enrolled in the program.

The Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) has supported the program with donations of poles, wires and specialized tools used in training, helped with trainee certification, and provided instructors as needed. They’ve served as program advisors and provided work placements for students.

“Our family has had a long and proud history in the electrical and utility industry and are strong supporters of Cambrian College,” said Dean Gatien, principal of DGG5 Advising, former vice-president of PowerTel and a Cambrian alumni, in a statement.

“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.”

Enzo Garritano, IHSA president-CEO, said the walkway is representative of the path people take on their education-to-career journey.

“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.”

“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,” said Brian Lobban, dean of skills training, engineering technology and environmental studies.