Recognized as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Dec 7, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why Miller Group, The was selected as one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2018):
- Miller Group supports employee creativity and innovation through its CARE Program (Cost Awareness Rewards Employees), rewarding employees with monetary gifts for suggestions that improve the company
- Along with helping employees save for the future, Miller Group encourages employees to think ahead with retirement planning assistance and phased-in work options
- Through the "Miller Institute of Excellence", Miller Group offers leadership, management and construction-related courses, many of which have been accredited by the Canadian Construction Association
Miller Group builds the road to career success
For his first job with the Markham-based Miller Group, Chris Maguire worked overnight, sweeping sand off curbs and centre medians along Yonge Street where the con-struction company provided winter maintenance services.
That was 30 years ago. Today, Maguire is Manager, Full Depth Reclamation, Surface Treatment & Winter Works. His responsibilities include bidding on and securing contracts and then ensuring the right employees and equipment are in place to repair and resurface roads when construction is feasible and to keep them clear of snow and ice the rest of the time.
The Miller Group's supportive, family-oriented culture played a big part in his career development, says Maguire. Until his 2010 move to the company's Aurora office, work took him to a variety of Ontario locations to carry out many of the heavy-duty operations he now oversees. While his hands-on experience in the field provided an excellent background for his current position, Maguire soon realized he needed to expand his skill set.
"It was a bit of a shock at first to be inside and learning the other side," he recalls. "I'm grateful my supervisor has been very helpful and guided me a lot. Plus we have our own internal training program, the Miller Institute of Excellence, where you take the courses you need for your professional development. It's fantastic the way the company helps you grow into management."
Many of MIE's leadership, management and construction related courses are accredited by the Canadian Construction Association. Some of the courses that Maguire took helped him earn the CCA's Gold Seal Certification. The designation is awarded to construction management professionals who've demonstrated they meet the requirements of industry knowledge, experience, education and training.
Maguire is also a proud member the Miller Group's 25 Year Club and has the gold watch to show for it. Like many others in the club, he attends the event every other year, when new members are inducted. It's a big crowd. "When I look around, I see the majority of people are still working today," says Maguire. "That's a lot of people who've been around a long time."
President & CEO Blair McArthur is buoyed by the statistics; more than 600 people have been inducted into the 25 Year Club and of those, 56 per cent are still active employees. At the same time, he notes, the average age of all employees is just 43, meaning there are also substantial numbers of young workers on board.
Those numbers are a testament to the company's culture, including the care taken in filling positions, says McArthur. "Anybody can buy a piece of equipment," he adds, "but not everybody can hire the right people to operate it."
The Miller Group, which recently celebrated its 100th birthday, continues to grow and expand. Founded in 1917 as Routly & Summers, it became A.E. Jupp Construction in 1919. In 1946, Don Miller bought AE Jupp Construction and changed the name to Miller Paving Ltd. Then in 1976, McArthur's father, Leo, and his partner John Carrick bought the company.
Six years earlier, they had started McAsphalt Industries to supply asphalt cement to the road building industry. Carrick remained at McAsphalt while McArthur Sr. oversaw operations at Miller. The sister companies have synergies, with one supplying asphalt products and design services, and the other using them to build roads and bridges.
Today, the Miller Group builds and supports urban and rural infrastructure for clients in the public and private sectors across Canada, the southeastern United States and international markets. And while the company now has thousands of employees, it has implemented a range of initiatives to help each one feel like a member of the family.
"I firmly believe that if you take care of the people," says Blair McArthur, "the people will take care of the organization."