HCAT Donates $45,000 to George Brown Civil Engineering Students

HCAT donates to GBC students

Photo: (Holding the cheque from left to right) Adel Esayed, Klint Kissoon, Cindy Gouveia, Peter Smith, Vic Soncin, Berta Soncin and Daniel Alonzi

The Heavy Construction Association of Toronto (HCAT) generously donated $45,000 to George Brown College on August 17th, at a cheque presentation ceremony at the College's Casa Loma Campus. George Brown College is pleased to receive support from an industry group such as HCAT that works in Toronto to promote best practices in heavy civil construction, safety, infrastructure investments and labor relations. HCAT's gift funds two scholarships: the HCAT Civil Engineering Technology Scholarship and the HCAT Award of Excellence in Honour of Vittorino Soncin.

$30,000 of the gift will go towards the HCAT Civil Engineering Technology Scholarship, which will be awarded over three years, with five $2,000 awards distributed each year. Students must be registered full-time and have completed semester 5 in the Civil Engineering Technology Program with Co-op in order to be eligible for this award. Students must have a cumulative program GPA of 2.7 or greater and demonstrate a commitment and dedication to the field of heavy construction.

$15,000 of HCAT's gift will fund the HCAT Award of Excellence in Honour of Vittorino Soncin, which will be awarded over three years, with two $2,500 awards given out each year. This award is geared towards students who have displayed leadership skills and have completed semester 5 of the Civil Engineering Technology Program obtaining a cumulative program GPA of 3.5 or higher. Students who have a commitment to creativity and ability to develop solutions to construction issues are encouraged to apply for this award.

HCAT chose to honour Vittorino (Vic) Soncin for his multiple influences and achievements within the Civil Contracting and Engineering world. Vic, emigrated from Italy to Canada in 1956 beginning work in construction in Sudbury. He was later lured to the city by civil contractor, Pitts Engineering that hired him as Superintendent for Bridge Building on the Gardiner Expressway, the QEW and the 401. Vic started Sonterland Construction in 1978 and Soncin Construction in 1983. For over two decades he represented the Heavy Construction Association as a trustee at the Local 183 Training Centre and was instrumental in developing its current apprenticeship program.

Vic's commitment to construction education was recognised by the Honourable Chris Bentley, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, as well as the Labourers International Union of North America, which gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award. At the age of 82, Vic is still involved with the company, currently building and upgrading infrastructure throughout southern Ontario.
Vic's commitment to the industry is evident in the countless roles he has taken on and in the awards he has achieved. George Brown College is honoured to be able to provide students with scholarships that celebrate Vic's past, present and future work in the field.

In attendance at the cheque presentation ceremony were Vic Soncin, Founder of Soncin Construction; Daniel Alonzi, President of HCAT and VP of Bridgecon Construction; Derrick Speakman, VP of HCAT and VP of Anchor Shoring Group; Aldo Paganelli, President and CEO of Toronto Zenith Contracting; Mauro Scanga, President of Deep Foundations Contractors; Peter Smith, Executive Director of HCAT; Dennes Soncin, President of Soncin Construction; and Paul Soncin, Partner of Soncin Construction.

From George Brown College, Dr. Adel Esayed, Dean of the Centre for Construction, Engineering & Technology; Clint Kissoon, Chair of the Angelo DelZotto School of Construction Management and Cindy Gouveia, President of the George Brown College Foundation were in attendance. 

"Civil engineering students at George Brown College will be a part of the workforce that constructs bridges, subways, harbours and other mega projects in and around Toronto. We want to invest in the next generation of civil engineers to motivate and encourage the future of skills trade people." said Smith. "We promote the development of civil engineers and this is one way we have chosen to contribute to their meaningful growth."

As George Brown College celebrate its 50th anniversary, it embraces strong community partners like HCAT. "We are honoured to partner with HCAT. They are changing Toronto's cityscape while prioritizing best practices in heavy construction. Our students, besides learning from the best, are now able to leave George Brown College with the support of industry professionals. We are so grateful for HCAT and Mr. Soncin in particular, for creating these opportunities," says Gouveia.

How to Apply for HCAT Civil Engineering Technology Scholarship and HCAT Award of Excellence in Honour of Vittorino Soncin

Students wishing to apply for this award must complete an application on STU-VIEW. More information, including deadlines and instructions, is available on the Awards and Scholarships page.
For more information about this gift, please contact Krisztina Arany, Senior Development Officer at the George Brown College Foundation, at (416) 415-5000 ext. 4356 or at karany@georgebrown.ca.