Tom Miguel, From the Factory Floor to the Lecture Hall

Tom Miguel

July 28, 2020

By Sarah Pickard

At 14, Tom Miguel was sitting in the counsellor’s office of Silverthorn Collegiate Institute in Etobicoke, Ontario with his entire life ahead of him. In 1981, the world was changing, and like so many young men and women, he was faced with a world of choices that would go on to define both his career and his life. It was in this office that some counsellor suggested becoming an electrician, and Tom’s interest was piqued.

I knew from that point on what field of studies I needed to focus on to become an electrician,” Tom said.

Tom graduated high school in 1986 and began a five-year apprenticeship as a construction electrician. He received his 309A license at the age of 22 on April 10th, 1990, and on September 29th that same year, married his beautiful wife Christina Servinis. Together, they had two amazing children: Nick, who is now a licensed electrician; and Angela, a licensed paralegal and proud mother to two babies of her own. While children and grandchildren toddled their chubby-cheeked way into Tom’s life, he spent thirty years exploring the electrical and manufacturing world.

I decided early on during my apprenticeship that I wanted to be experienced in all fields of the electrical industry. I gained experience in commercial construction, then institutional construction, then residential High-Rise construction, then industrial construction and Industrial automation and lastly service work. Out of all the areas that I was fortunate enough to have gained experience, I enjoyed the industrial automation field the best as it was the most challenging.

Tom began a career in the industrial sector working for Dempster’s Bread. In his eight years there he worked his way up from electrician to lead hand, maintenance supervisor, and finally maintenance manager. When asked about the highlights, Tom said “My greatest accomplishment at Dempster’s was building the plant and automating the entire process. to achieve 95% efficiency. Rarely did this plant have greater than 5% downtime in a given year.”

After Dempster’s, Tom moved into the lucrative automotive sector, where manufacturing plants paid extremely well. He spent the next eight years of his career working at Ford within the paint process. However, “Unsatisfied with the harsh environment and even harsher chemical exposure, I decided that another career move was in order.

From there he went to the Brampton Chrysler plant in 2005, starting as a maintenance supervisor in the assembly area. 15 years later, Tom is responsible for the World Class Professional Maintenance Pillar in assembly. He proudly reports that “The methodology that we use is a systematic process that if executed correctly, will deliver zero unscheduled downtime.” Tom’s job also includes the implementation and training of world class methodologies. A particular challenge, he notes, is convincing veteran tradesmen that the way things were done in the past are no longer effective, and convincing them to use the professional maintenance strategy. However, he adds that watching them respond with a new, profound understanding of the work and seeing the results of their efforts is deeply rewarding.

Those same rewards can be found in the efforts of Tom’s other, younger students. These days, thirty years after Tom received his certification as an electrician, he can be found in the halls of Sheridan College, where he teaches college students and electrical apprentices alike the skills they need to be successful as an electrician. “There really is no better reward in life than knowing your skills and experience are being used to help students pursue a rewarding career in the electrical field.

With Tom’s long history in the electrical field, and with the insights granted to him by his role as professor, we asked Tom where he saw the industry heading in the next thirty years.

As we continue to move away from fossil fuels, we will become increasingly dependent on electricity to provide the things we need. The future is very clear: clean energy sources like electricity will completely dominate over all other energy sources. For this reason, the opportunities in the electrical field are endless, and will provide many good paying jobs for people all over the world.”

For any young men or women sitting in the counselor’s office, staring down their future, they should take that to heart.

Sarah Pickard is Assistant Editor, Kerrwil Electrical Group

Related Articles


Latest Articles

  • Regulations Amending the Products Containing Mercury Regulations – A Call to Consultation

    Regulations Amending the Products Containing Mercury Regulations – A Call to Consultation

    January 29, 2023 By Line Goyette Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, the Canadian government is proposing the Regulations amending the products containing mercury. Consultation is open until March 9, 2023. The Products Containing Mercury Regulations (the Regulations), which were published on November 19, 2014, and came into force on November 8, 2015, prohibit the manufacture and import of products containing mercury… Read More…

  • A Career with Purpose – Apprentices Building Canada’s Reduced Carbon Future

    A Career with Purpose – Apprentices Building Canada’s Reduced Carbon Future

    January 27, 2023 By Yoana Turnin, Project Manager, EHRC In 2021, Canada joined 120+ other countries in committing to achieving net-zero emissions by year 2050 in an effort to “avert the worst impacts of climate change.” In a few words, that means either reducing or offsetting the economy’s greenhouse gas emissions through electrification, energy efficiency… Read More…

  • Challenges, Opportunity, and Labour Demand in the Construction Industry

    Challenges, Opportunity, and Labour Demand in the Construction Industry

    January 27, 2023 By Blake Marchand There is some uncertainty in the overall market right now, relating to inflation, interest rates, even global events like the war in Ukraine has an impact. These factors will have an impact on the construction industry, which may have an impact on broader opportunities for electrical contractors. Although, anecdotally… Read More…

  • First Retrofit Financed by the Canada Infrastructure Bank Receives IREE Certification

    First Retrofit Financed by the Canada Infrastructure Bank Receives IREE Certification

    January 27, 2023 The Canada Green Building Council (CAGBC) and the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) have announced Dream’s 366 Bay St. redevelopment in Toronto is the first retrofit project financed by the CIB to achieve Investor Ready Energy Efficiency (IREE) certification. IREE certification is part of the CIB’s Building Retrofits Initiative and is administered through… Read More…


Changing Scene

  • Rexel Canada Aquires Lineman’s Testing Labratories of Canada

    Rexel Canada Aquires Lineman’s Testing Labratories of Canada

    Janaury 29, 2023 Rexel Canada aquires Lineman’s Testing Laboratories of Canada Ltd (LTL), a leading provider of high-voltage electrical services and products to the utility and industrial markets based in Toronto, ON and Edmonton, AB. The acquisition, which closed today, will provide Rexel Canada with enhanced opportunities in an attractive and value-added market. The acquisition… Read More…

  • Bartle & Gibson Announces Milwaukee Tool Zones at Three Locations

    Bartle & Gibson Announces Milwaukee Tool Zones at Three Locations

    Janaury 29, 2023 Bartle & Gibson Co. Ltd. announced the addition of three Milwaukee Tool Zones. The Zones include two Milwaukee Tool Red Zones, one at their Calgary North location and one at their Port Coquitlam location, and one Milwaukee Tool Lighting Zone at their Edmonton North location. These Milwaukee Tool Zones are a one-stop… Read More…

  • Electricity Canada and Smart Grid Innovation Network Canada Enter Collaborative Agreement

    Electricity Canada and Smart Grid Innovation Network Canada Enter Collaborative Agreement

    January 27, 2023 Electricity Canada and Smart Grid Innovation Network Canada have entered into a collaborative agreement to share knowledge and create a climate of cooperation that initiates a new direction for both organizations to better serve the professional needs of the members, industry, and community. This agreement will increase collaboration to benefit industry in… Read More…

  • Government of Canada Launches New Intake Model for Zero-Emission Vehicles Infrastructure Funding

    Government of Canada Launches New Intake Model for Zero-Emission Vehicles Infrastructure Funding

    January 27, 2023 The Government of Canada is now accepting applications from not-for-profit organizations, public institutions and governments to locally deliver federal funding from the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP). Applications will be accepted throughout 2023 and 2024. This is yet another step the government is taking to make electric vehicle (EV) charging more accessible for… Read More…