recognized for building up electrical company
Jolicoeur has been chosen as the Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneur
of the year by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.
When Jordan Jolicoeur took over his dad's small,
part-time electrical business, striking deals with big energy
companies was a distant dream.
That was in 2013, when he and his brother, Joel,
became the owners of Carvel Electric, based in Stony Plain, Alta.
At the time, the brothers were happy to take
any job they could land.
"We were pretty much handed a small work
van and a bag of tools," Jolicoeur said. "When we first
started out, we would work for anybody. We would wire basements
for family and friends."
Four years later, Jolicoeur is being honoured
with the Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Award by the
Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.
Company now winning contracts
in the oilpatch
The company now employs 10 people, and its clientele
includes rail and energy companies such as CP Rail and Kinder
"When you do a good job for someone, it
kind of carries over and you meet someone else," Jolicoeur
The company has moved into larger-scale contracts,
and now specializes in industrial electrical control systems.
"On an oil pipeline facility, for instance,
there is a lot of automation for the electrical control system,"
he said. "They need to control a certain valve or oil process
remotely, so our electrical controls are installing electrical
systems around automating oil facilities."
Jolicoeur between his brother Joel, left, and father Sylvio,
right. (Jordan Jolicoeur)
The position he's in now is the result of years
of training, first to become a journeyman electrician.
Jolicoeur, 28, will become the first Métis
winner of the national award at a special gala in Toronto in January.
"There were a number of well-deserving recipients,
but what separated Jordan from the others is that he took a vision
from his dad and he built it up with his brother," said JP
Gladu, president and CEO for the Canadian Council for Aboriginal
Majority of employees are Indigenous
Gladu said Jolicoeur was chosen by an independent
jury, and the award carries an inspiring message for Indigenous
communities across the country.
"We need to see ourselves as Indigenous
people in faces of success, and Jordan is one of those faces,"
Gladu said. "There have been enough negative stories in the
media, so it's great to turn that around."
Jolicoeur said he has continued his father Sylvio's
approach in hiring from First Nations communities, with six of
his 10 employees identifying as Indigenous.
The family are proud members of the Métis
Nation of Alberta, and in turn the organization has been a strong
supporter of their business.
Jolicoeur hopes budding Indigenous entrepreneurs
take heart from his company's efforts.
"I hope it shows that you can build something out of
nothing," he said. "Anyone can do it, if you put your
mind to it and you work hard."