Don’t talk to Tania-Joy Bartlett about breaking through the glass ceiling.
The “man in charge” at New Beginnings Contacting Services is a woman, and she is more concerned with the windows she and her crew are currently installing.
Tania-Joy is the owner of New Beginnings Contracting Services and is a master electrician, heavy equipment operator and a truck driver. She prides herself on being able to offer her clients a more efficient way of completing their construction projects, with her “all-in-one” approach to contracting. “It’s about doing the best job for the customer and about creating a better, safer work environment for all of my employees.”
Originally from Newfoundland, her family spent summers on Pigeon Lake for eighteen years. She lived in the area while attending Fleming College, and moved here permanently when she was 24 years old.
After leaving her legal assistant position for the trades Tania-Joy started out as a labourer at the Pickering Nuclear Plant some twenty-odd years ago. She then went to Bruce Power with nuclear operations, then back to Pickering as an electrical apprentice. She then continued with control maintenance at Darlington, before moving on as a construction maintenance electrical foreman.
Tania-Joy continued her education and went on to obtain her Heavy Equipment License, AZ-DZ License and eventually her Master Electrician License.
“Almost every job I’ve had in the last twenty years, I’ve usually been the only female in a workforce of up to 400 men; by the time I’d left Darlington I was working on a jobsite with at least four women from various trades. Most men don’t really see a woman working in “their field” and some were intimidated by working with me,” she recalls. “Overall, there has been respect and admiration for my ability to overcome physical obstacles and think outside the box in order to get a job done” states Tania-Joy, who stands five feet three inches tall.
In 2018, Tania-Joy made the decision to start her own contracting company, and she called it New Beginnings. “It was a new beginning for me” she stated, “I wanted to be different. I want my crew to expand their skills – most of my crew have at least two tickets and I encourage all of them to learn and grow. If they have to leave here at some point, I want them to feel they are better off than when they got here”.
Her crew includes 4 tradeswomen, including an electrician, carpenter, form setter/custom stone carver and labourer. “They are simply part of the crew; everyone is treated equally by me and each other because we are an equal opportunity employer. We have a true team environment here. We all do what needs to be done and I never ask anyone to do a job I’m not prepared to do myself.”
She credits her parents with encouraging her to be whatever she wanted to be, and she instills that confidence in her team. When asked what it is that sets New Beginnings apart from other contracting services, she explained that they are a true all-in-one contractor, able to get the job done from start to finish. Because she employs basically every trade necessary, she rarely has to sub-contract work. This allows her to have control over the safety, quality, production and costs in every phase of the projects.
“I feel the one-stop service has been missing in the Kawartha Lakes area; I want to provide a reliable contracting source which takes the worry away from the client by streamlining the whole process.” Her passion for perfection is easily explained. “It’s my name going on each job and I have certain standards which have to be maintained. I have better control over that if the trades are in-house. Working for me, they know what I expect, and they deliver.” Whether the project is a repair, renovation or a new build, New Beginnings strives to achieve the highest levels in building standards and customer satisfaction.
Tania-Joy enjoys working with her clients to bring their vision to life. “My expertise goes beyond the bones of the build – attention to detail and an artistic decorating touch are part of the package. For example, if we are building a house, I can understand the wish-list of any and all homeowners. I welcome the challenge of ticking off all the boxes.”
Looking ahead, she talks about one of her “bucket list” items – “I’d love to do a start-to-finish commercial project here in Kawartha Lakes,” she admits.
In the meantime, she wants to work with students, providing co-op placements so they can get their foot in the door. “The earlier you find out about trades opportunities the better, especially for the girls” she says. “The industry needs more boots on the ground right now and anyone who wants to work and learn will find themselves in high demand.”
New Beginnings Contracting Services
email@example.com • 705-344-4613
405 Cedar Glen Rd. Dunsford, ON. K0M 1L0
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