Mechanical contractors merge to increase labour force

Consolidation could be a more common strategy going forward as project size and complexity rises.

Crews work on Gilmore Place in Burnaby, B.C. – Alexandra Service from Take Off Photography

Key Takeaways:

  • Pitt Meadows Plumbing & Mechanical Systems (PMP) is acquiring WQC Mechanical in an effort to combine labour forces.
  • Company officials explained the size of projects in B.C. is making larger workforces more and more necessary.
  • They believe this will spur other companies to consolidate.

The Whole Story:

WQC Mechanical is merging with Pitt Meadows Plumbing & Mechanical Systems (PMP). 

PMP officials explained that the move is part of its strategies to grow its workforce and they believe that acquisitions like this will become more common as projects continue to require more and more labour. 

“Like everybody else, the shortage of skilled trades workers is impacting us,” said James Zelinski, chief administrative officer for PMP.

The B.C. mechanical contractor is currently working on large-scale projects like Gilmore Place, Richmond Centre and City of Lougheed. 

The merger with WQC Mechanical was first discussed roughly a year ago when WQC was looking to be acquired. Someone from Pitt Meadows Plumbing & Mechanical Systems then introduced the team to a contact at WQC. 

“We had already been considering a more formalized strategy of growth through acquisition so it made sense when we started these conversations,” said Zelinski. “They have a whole bunch of skilled people – apprentices and red seal plumbers and we saw synergies around what we both do. They are smaller than us but are just a great group of tradespeople.” 

PMP is currently in the process of on-boarding roughly 30 new trades workers. Part of the deal is that WQC will finish all the work on its books before completely transitioning its workforce. 

Zelinski explained that the acquisition process allowed the company to greatly increase its workforce in one move rather than having to devise a more complex worker attraction strategy through trade shows, LinkedIn or Indeed. 

He noted that not only does Pitt Meadows offer competitive wages, full pensions and benefits, but workers will be able to do larger, more complex jobs and broaden their experience. 

Going forward, acquisition will continue to be part of PMP’s strategy for growth. And Zelinksi believes that the industry as a whole will see more consolidation. 

“We think the industry is going to consolidate,” he said. “I think the big players will just get bigger and that’s partly because the jobs are getting bigger and more complicated. The number of people needed for one job might be 75 or 80. They are so big. The jobs in Vancouver aren’t getting smaller. They are getting bigger. So access to skilled trades is more and more important.”


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