RRC Polytech alumnus Glenn Garbett has made the full circle journey from determined student to successful business owner to trusted partner and generous donor. As someone who received financial support during his studies, he knows what a difference it can make.
“I have never forgotten how big of an impact a few extra bucks from a small business owner had on my life when as a Civil Engineering Technology student I received an award for a paper I wrote,” says Garbett, President and CEO of Keystone Projects Limited. “After I graduated, I worked a number of jobs to gain experience, but when I set out on my own the business plan always included finding a way to return the favour – to me, it’s the right thing to do.”
Garbett established Keystone Projects Ltd. in 2010 providing customized and sustainable services in construction and project management. His experience and expertise ensure required work is completed, the quality of that work is of the highest standard and costs are kept down by the early identification and elimination of potentially costly errors before they occur.
His work as a Project Manager and Contract Administrator has been instrumental in the completion of many of the College’s recent building projects, including the Skilled Trades and Technology Centre, Paterson GlobalFoods Institute and Manitou a bi Bii daziigae.
This spring, he was able to extend his College relationship from trusted partner to proud donor.
Keystone Projects Ltd. created a $5,000 award for applied research teams in their fourth-year of the Construction Management Degree program. The award is given to the team that completed a project that focuses on leading-edge technology and improves or benefits the construction industry.
“I believe the cooperative effort of motivated professionals will bring a solution to any project. Cutting-edge technology and innovation drive industries forward, but teamwork will always be essential in construction,” says Garbett. “The goal of this award is to motivate students to place value on both as they enter the workforce and for them to dream big, be ambitious, and learn to communicate.”
This year’s winners Jasraj Gill, Hyung Jin An, Julian Brontsch, and Matthew Paquette evaluated the status, potential, and challenges of drone use in construction inspections. After conducting a literature review, a case study comparing manual to drone aided stockpile surveying, a hands-on drone survey test, and opinion surveys with industry professionals, they concluded that drone technology has shown enormous potential but is better served in other construction site applications.
“A big take away was going through the steps to complete each task on deadline which helped us to value the importance of planning and managing our time. Working together as a team to come up with and execute our objectives required us to further develop less tangible skills like problem solving, organization, asking the right questions, and presenting ideas,” says Matthew Paquette.
Their cash reward is multiplied by the experience of sharing their findings with their mentor who has hired several RRC Polytech grads.
“The construction industry in Manitoba seems like a very small and tight knit community so his advice and this connection is invaluable to us. We cannot thank Mr. Garbett enough for this prestigious award and opportunity,” says Paquette.
Garbett was intrigued by their project and believes drone technology will eventually become a powerful tool in construction, as it has in other industries. He is pleased that instructors plan to take their investigation further with future applied research groups.
“Glenn is a valuable resource not only to the winners, but to every student in our class. He demonstrates the trust and belief that industry leaders place in the next generation and emphasizes the importance of teamwork,” says Dr. Bright Ng’andu, Instructor in RRC Polytech’s Construction Management Degree program. “His donation encourages students to be confident that a great idea can originate anywhere and that you should always be striving to find a better way.”
Garbett is driven by personal development and guided by the philosophy that you can create happiness by surrounding yourself with good people, treating them fairly, building and maintaining relationships, and sharing in their successes.
He views his partnership with RRC Polytech as a win-win and is eager to find new ways to collaborate in the future.
“The industry needs creative thinkers and good communicators who can work together and adapt when there are setbacks. I’ve learned that integrity, details, and positive language matter as much as knowledge and experience and have a feeling of accomplishment that these students now know there are good people out there, helping good people – provided you put in an honest day’s work.”