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Mascioli Construction continues to evolve

This week's What's Up Wednesday checks in with Kelly Mascioli, who is the fourth generation working at the family business

Mascioli Construction has been operating in Timmins since 1912. In order to be so successful, the business has adapted to changing times over the years.

The business continues to evolve, not just with product and service, but in terms of removing gender barriers in the industry.

Kelly Mascioli is part of the fourth generation working in the family business. As a civil engineer technologist, she is in charge of the day-to-day operations. She loves working in the industry.

Born and raised in Timmins, the local schools she attended include St. Jean, Jacques Cartier, Ross Beattie and Timmins High. She graduated from engineering at Northern College.

Even though she spent much of her youth working in the family business, she left Timmins to pursue a different career.

“I went through the health-care field at first, thinking that is what I wanted to do,” Mascioli said. “I went to London. I made my way back to Timmins and found my actual passion in this field.

“I always thought that I wanted to leave Timmins. As soon as I left … I think Timmins always brings you back. My entire family is here. So, yeah, I definitely missed it.”

Her father, Phil Mascioli, is the owner and manager of the company.

According to the company website, the business began in 1912 as Leo Mascioli Construction, founded by brothers Leo and Antonio. They worked in local mines and the firm also built roads around the city. In 1938, it was renamed Mascioli Construction Co. Ltd. They established a ready-mix plant and block plant to produce concrete pipes, blocks, patio slabs and catch basins. The company constructed roads and sidewalks in the city.

Today, according to the website, Mascioli Construction is a civil contractor “dealing primarily with road work, subdivision development, equipment rentals and seasonal work.”

Mascioli’s Brick Yard was added in 1994, offering house brick, interlocking pavers, patio slabs, blocks and retaining walls.

“Working my summers here, seeing every little aspect of the company and seeing what really our day-to-day life in the summer and the construction industry … I think I got a little more insight on the job site by doing certain things I wasn’t doing the year before,” Mascioli explained. “It was kind of an eye opener for me. I love everything there is to do with it.”

Her career choice raised a few eyebrows in the male-dominated construction industry.

“I’m not going to lie. At first it was very hard,” she said. “We have a lot of people who have been working here longer than I have been alive. So, for me to grow up in this industry and also working with men and taking on that role, it’s been very hard.

“But I think over the years I’ve proven myself and shown them that I can do it too. I think we’re finally at that level where we can work together.

“At a lot of jobs sites, a lot of the men will kind of bypass me and go talk to my foreman. And then they’ll say, ‘No, you need to go talk to this girl.’

“Once you start talking, then they see you know what you’re talking about. It has definitely gotten better as the years have gone on, but it is still not as easy as it should be.”

Despite the challenges, Mascioli recommends construction and skilled trades to women.

She is appreciative of her deep family roots in Timmins and in the industry.

“It feels amazing,” Mascioli said. “We have three generations still around involved. My grandfather, my dad, myself and my brother and my cousin. It’s awesome.

“My grandfather comes in. He’s 95 years of age, and he and my grandma still come in to check on how things are going.”

She is involved in the community as a director on the board of the Timmins Chamber of Commerce, represents the company at the Timmins Construction Association, and serves on the Timmins Labour Management Committee through the Infrastructure and Health and Safety Association. She also recently helped set up the group Women In Engineering, where members share stories and provide support.

Community involvement has been a family trait for generations.

“Always. Between my father and my grandfather, we’ve always shown it is always good to give back,” she said. “Especially in a community … we’ve been around for so long, there is obviously a reason for that.”

She said it is important to keep up with modernization in the industry.

“We’ve been trying to evolve with construction,” Mascioli said. “A lot of our infrastructure hasn’t been dealt with in the same manner as it has in the last couple of years. We’re doing more like the re-lining stuff (for infrastructure), where we’ve paired up with a couple of companies already. Doing that I think is the way to go, where we’re not digging up streets and making as much of a mess as we would normally.

“Our brickyard side as well, that’s kind of our main thing in the summer and it’s been doing better and better every year.”

Mascioli Construction Company Ltd. is located at 359 Cameron St. South in Timmins. The office hours are Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact the office at 705-264-5262, visit their website or find them on Facebook.