Contendo – like so many other companies – came as a response to a need or an internal “itch.” You see, Sancon was and is focused on commissioning oil and gas sites, and they were absolutely overwhelmed when oil was $130 per barrel back in 2008. Major customers were asking the company to stay and train their employees, and Sancon didn’t have the time nor the personnel to make it work. So, Contendo was born as a solution to help major oil and gas companies train their employees.
What does Contendo do?
Contendo is an online learning training solutions company, among many other things. Contendo offers a suite of off-the-shelf Safety Training Products (GHS WHMIS, Fall Awareness, Confined Space Awareness, Hazard Awareness), as well as the only comprehensive SAGD Oil Sands Online Training Program that is currently offered as a certificate program by both NSCC and Keyano College. Contendo is also a producer of Customized Online Training for large industrial sites, as well as Online Site Orientation Packages.
Where is Contendo located?
We’re based in Belledune, which can sometimes be a logistical nightmare – our town is two and half hours away from Moncton for instance – but it does, however, fall within our value system.
How many employees currently work at your company?
We’re 12 in the office, 7 tech writers and we have 3 employees that work remotely.
What kinds of people are you looking for and what kinds of roles are you hiring for?
We’re based in Northern New Brunswick, so we’re looking for someone who doesn’t need big city living, who actually likes the small-town lifestyle. Once we’ve found that, we’re looking for programmers, animators, and graphic designers. We’re constantly looking for good talent to augment the team and bring new stuff to the table.
What kind of small town challenges are you encountering?
Finding good talent is never easy, and finding good talent that can thrive in a small-town space is difficult. A lot of young people want to live in a bigger, more exciting town, and so Belledune isn’t the right fit for them. Another challenge is breaking the Northern New Brunswick mentality that the dream is to do only one job every day. So, when someone new comes in and has to juggle a couple of responsibilities, it can be a bit of a culture shock. They also don’t always understand that they may need to take ownership of themselves and do ongoing training – and it can be tough trying to combat this way of thinking.
Anything an outsider wouldn’t necessarily know about Contendo?
We’re not a big team, so we definitely call on everybody to be leaders in their own roles. We need to rely on each other to make sure the job gets done, and we try to empower each other. We also provide our employees with leadership training and discovery courses. We emphasize that a job isn’t just there to get paid. We want our employees to grow, to take their career into their own hands. We pay our employees well so that they can view their job as their career. We also have golf days to keep the mood a little lighter, we have a pickleball court and we’ve implemented the Golden Friday principle which goes down well: every second Friday we finish at 12:00.
Describe your most recent achievement, milestone, reason for bragging rights.
Our modules have been run over a quarter million times, we have about 20 000 users over all of our platforms and some of those products were built in 2008.
Any recent achievements and highlights that might not have made the news?
We recently received a letter of endorsement from NSCC, which means that the Department of Labour will view our training packages as continued learning hours for power engineers. We’ve also been contracted by NB Power to build an online orientation program for them, which will free their health and safety people so they can do more physical monitoring on the site. We expect that our program will save them about $2 million in vendor labour costs by 2030.