Want to continue your career in construction industry? FILCONPRO is your friend

Community News & Features Aug 24, 2017 at 4:32 pm
Noreen-Vinzon-and-Edward-Lintag

Noreen Vinzon and Edward Lintag

By Voltaire de Leon

Edward Lintag worked in the Philippines as a project engineer for Systech Industries for four years until 2007 when an opportunity opened up in Saudi Arabia. There he continued his project engineering work this time with Advanced Vision, an engineering firm of the prominent Bin Laden family. The reputation of Filipino engineers in Saudi preceded him and he did not disappoint his employers.

Edward’s family, however, had immigrated to Canada earlier on and encouraged him to join them here. His wife preceded him as a computer science professional. Predictably, he gave up Riyadh for Toronto in 2011. An uncle-in-law ran a business Innovative Trailer Design and hired him as a welder.

But in the meantime he enrolled in air-conditioning courses at Humber College. That ‘s where a classmate, another Filipino, mentioned to him a group of Filipinos who had worked in various occupations in construction. Edward lost no time joining the group Filipino Construction Professionals, or FILCONPRO. Juan Bernal, now its current Chairman, introduced Edward to another member, Villamor Pineda, who works as a mechanical estimator at NuTemp Mechanical.

Short story: Pineda’s employer NuTemp hired Edward as junior mechanical estimator. He is once more in the construction industry workforce. He was spared the usual early frustrations that most immigrants experienced as they tried to work in their field of expertise but had to settle for jobs outside it for years.

The group is among the most vibrant Filipino professional organizations in the GTA.

At its 2ND annual summer Membership Meeting at the Edithvale Community Centre, professionals included a hefty number of women specialists in the field. Noreen Vinzon, with an Engineering back gorund, and currently an estimator at Nexlevel Construction, is one. Not only did she join the organization to network (best way to get contacts), but simply to socialize with equals.

Members and guests

Members and guests (Photos provided)

Edward and Noreen prove time and again that joining fellow professionals, especially in a new country where credentials are not necessarily taken at face value, is the best way to move forward in one’s career. Not only that. It is also just being happy in the company of kindred souls.

Moving forward, FILCONPRO’S Vice President for Internal Affairs Lervin Adap is on his final leg of becoming a Certified PEO (Professional Engineer of Ontario). Here’s the story: the PEO examiner challenged his Tower Crane Foundation thesis He successfully defended it. Impressed, the examiner fully credited Adap, thus resolving his 6-subject/course deficiency. He now prepares for the Professional Practice Exam (PPE) while working at Crosslink as Design Coordinator.

Filconpro’s vision and mission are not only helping members find suitable jobs but encourage everyone to reach their goal of a chosen profession

Gracing that evening were Philippine Deputy Consul Bernadette Fernandez and Progressive Conservative Atty Angely Pacis and they spoke at the gathering to warm applause. On Filconpro’s behalf: Robin Martin, Stan Cho, Mann Nacario and Mariam Kim expressed the group’s great appreciation for their remarkable speeches.

An amusing tidbit: one of the speakers became a little too enthusiastic over the virtues of his political party. To the relief of the invited party notables, the moderator quickly followed with a very clear correction that FILCONPRO is totally neutral and welcomes everyone regardless of their political colour.