Match Offer Empowers Exceptional Gift to Mental Health Program

Powell Contracting and their employees are working just as hard to destigmatize mental health issues as they are keeping us safe on Ontario’s highways.

Founded by the Powell family nearly 60 years ago, the company is home to hundreds of roadside safety experts who install and maintain the guardrails, overhead signage and other critical infrastructure elements we all rely on when we get behind the wheel.

As longtime community builders, they’ve supported a wide range of causes, from Newmarket’s Rose of Sharon Services for Young Mothers to the Woodland Centre’s “Save the Evidence” campaign that’s supporting the restoration of the former Mohawk Institute Residential School.

As the pandemic dragged on, it was clear to the company’s leadership that some of the employees were struggling. “We haven’t been sheltered from the effects of the COVID-19,” says Nicole Wells, Powell Contracting’s Manager of people and culture. “Our employees have been operating in some really strange conditions so there have been mental health challenges.”

Powell Contracting decided to start a company-wide conversation about mental wellness. “We’ve dubbed this year the Year of Transparency and Communication,” says Nicole. “We’re really committed to talking about mental health to reduce the stigma around it.”

When the Powell family heard about the Orlando Corporation’s $5-million gift-match initiative, they seized the opportunity to deepen their impact. The result was their largest-ever donation on behalf of the family and the company’s employees: $250,000 in support of the state-of-the-art exercise room in Mackenzie Health’s leading-edge mental health program.

This outstanding space is part of a growing array of resources that span both Mackenzie Health sites, including an innovative new partnership with the Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences that will provide a range of promising new outpatient services.

“We really believe that people shouldn’t have to feel alone — and that speaks to the match itself,” says Nicole. “Powell makes a donation and Orlando is right there with us. We’re all in this together: that’s the message we want to deliver to our employees and our community.”