Company of the Year 16-50 Employees

At JTR & Custom Works, the familyowned and operated welding and fabrication shop has three main goals: provide clients with efficient and competitive solutions; provide employees with a safe place to grow within the trades; and actively engage in the community by supporting non-profit organizations.

Twelve years after being established, the shop – run by the father-daughter duo of Jean and Joëlle Charbonneau – has stuck to its mission, providing Timmins-area clients with services spanning torch repair, millwrighting, welding, and more.

Working in such a competitive field can be challenging, the owners contend, but being a family-run enterprise means the shop can focus on customer service.

“The owners of JTR & Custom Works are in the trenches with its workforce, so to speak,” they note. “Having the owners working alongside the workforce ensures our quality standards are truly understood by the workforce and attained daily.”

The company makes its services available to clients 24 hours a day.

To ensure a steady supply of welltrained skilled workers, JTR puts an emphasis on employee training, regularly bringing in apprentices and supporting them through to earning their Red Seal accreditation.

“By valuing our employees, and investing in and encouraging them, employees enjoy working with our small firm, and look forward to the next chapter of their trades career,” notes JTR. “This keeps them engaged and invested in our company, and consequently enables us to retain our always evolving personnel.”

In 10 years, JTR grew its staff from five in 2007 to 30 in 2017.

Work at the shop is done with the highest regard for safety, such that, in 2010, the company invested in equipment and training for its own confined space management team.

Because of their commitment to safety, JTR was bestowed the inaugural Small Business Health and Safety Leadership Award by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) in 2017 – one of only three businesses in the province recognized that year.

In evaluating their nomination, WSIB director Joanne Gordon said she was “thrilled” to see the company’s name included in amongst much larger, longer- established enterprises.

To meet the WSIB’s high standard for recognition, JTR was judged on its safety culture and leadership, inspections, hazard identification and control, quality of return-to-work programs, and employee safety engagement survey results.

Gordon said they knocked it out of the park.

“Jean and Joëlle Charbonneau set a high standard for the company’s positive safety culture, which is maintained by the health, safety and environment (HSE) co-ordinator, supervisors and all employees,” Gordon wrote.

When it comes to community engagement, JTR finds multiple ways to give back.

Joëlle regularly visits high school job fairs to discuss the opportunities for women interested in entering the trades and to impart advice on what the company looks for in apprentices and employees.

JTR is also active in the Young Worker Safety initiative, held in conjunction with the Ministry of Labour. Company representatives visit local schools to talk about the rights of young workers, along with tips on how to stay safe in the workplace.

Closer to home, JTR supports a variety of non-profit organizations, including Steps for Life, which supports those affected by workplace tragedies; the Timmins Construction Association’s health and safety conference; the Heart and Stroke Foundation; and the David Suzuki Foundation.