First Foundations Program

Helping Indigenous contractors install stable foundations that last for generations


Contact Us

Become a Certified Screw Pile Foundation Contractor

The foundations supporting structures in most Indigenous Communities aren’t performing. Shifted houses, doors that don’t close, cracks in walls, mold infestation – all because poor foundations are being used.

As a contractor, you know that a healthy home starts with a stable foundation. What you might not know is that you can become a certified screw pile installer. You can begin installing a foundation solution that, in many Indigenous communities, makes a lot more sense.

Even better, you can take your skill outside the community and become a foundation contractor for neighboring communities and local industry.

Here’s what you can do with the First Foundations program:

 

Learn the engineered process for installing screw pile foundations

Become a foundation contractor of choice for your community

Support new infrastructure or stabilize existing buildings

Access technical expertise and professional support with your projects and estimates

Participate in economic opportunities in your traditional territory

Provide foundations to neighboring communities

Be a valued sub-contractor to other construction companies

Offer an eco-friendly technology that can be removed as easily as it’s installed

Eliminate spoiled and wasted concrete

Help your community save money while improving quality

Create an additional source of income

Keep money from construction projects in your community

Use the skills and tools you already have

Create jobs in your community

Build a sustainable local business

Becoming a certified installer can provide you with a reliable income stream. Industry is moving north, and the mining, gas, and logging companies need foundations. Indigenous communities are in desperate need for more and improved housing and infrastructure.

There is no choice – Indigenous communities will have ongoing building projects. Versapile foundations can be stored outside, don’t corrode in harsh weather, and are lighter than bags of concrete. Plus, they can be installed with equipment you or your community likely already own.

Joining the First Foundations program gives your community a better building foundation, and it gives you more opportunities to make money.

The Process of First Foundations

Training

First Foundations starts with assessing what skills you you already have.

We customize the training course to suit your needs and skill level, all that’s required is some experience in construction or contracting.

If all you need is basic training, our trainers will focus the course on that.

If you require a little hands-on help or on-site supervision, our friendly trainers will arrange it – so you can become confident, expert foundation contractors.

Hands-On

Learning how to become an expert foundation installer doesn’t just happen in a classroom.

With First Foundations, you’ll get hands-on experience installing foundations right in your community. Not only will you be able to install foundations at a fraction of the cost, but you’ll have the pride of knowing that you’re deciding how things are done in your community.
During the entire process, our foundation experts will be on-hand to answer questions and guide you. At the end, you can become a reliable foundation contractor for the area.

“VersaPile has provided training to the First Nation Operation and Maintenance crews, which brings down the cost of installation using their own equipment and adapters they bought for their excavators….

We are very pleased with the level of professionalism, teamwork, and the service was amazing. From a project manager’s perspective, we will continue to use VersaPile foundations for the new and older homes housing projects”

Ken Shroeder, Project Manager
Mishkeegogamang First Nation

How First Foundations Creates Income

Indigenous Communities have lived on the land for generations. That means that, as First Nations, you have influence in your traditional territory.

Companies must consult with, and involve you, in a meaningful way if they want to operate in your territory.

When you become a certified foundation installer, you can work with these companies to be hired as their foundation contractors.

Here’s some of the places and industries you could install foundations for:

  • Mining camps
  • Temporary housing
  • Commercial structures
  • Natural gas companies
  • Forestry companies
  • Mining camps
  • Temporary housing
  • Commercial structures
  • Natural gas companies
  • Forestry companies
  • Industrial buildings
  • Gaming centers
  • Hotels
  • Recreational facilities
  • Government facilities
  • Industrial buildings
  • Gaming centers
  • Hotels
  • Recreational facilities
  • Government facilities

Becoming a Certified Screw Pile Installer

First Foundations invests with people like you. Local Indigenous entrepreneurs in every community who wants to roll up their sleeves and work hands-on to build local infrastructure.

We have also worked closely with economic development corporations, Tribal Councils and First Nations. With strong governance, these partnerships can also be a great match for First Foundations.

Screw piles are a 185-year old engineered technology with a track record for unparalleled versatility and performance in problematic soils.

Areas with high water table, muskeg, silts, expansive clays, peat moss and sand have proven screw piles to be an effective foundation solution that ensures stability.

However, there is no silver bullet when it comes to foundations and unfortunately screw piles can’t penetrate rock or very dense hardpans or tills and they require at least 5 feet of embedment.

Areas with a lot of boulders can be problematic in some circumstances.

First Foundations contractors do have access to alternative foundation solutions when refusal is shallow when the area has many boulders.

It is beneficial to already possess basic knowledge of general construction, so you can appreciate how the installation of a screw pile foundation might impact the rest of the construction process.

You don’t have to be an expert in foundations – but it doesn’t hurt to have this knowledge.

Experience operating equipment such as skid steers and excavators is beneficial.

Owning a skidsteer, excavator or other piece of hydraulic equipment that can be used for installing screw piles will greatly improve the affordability of getting your screw pile business started.

This is perhaps the most important qualification for partnering with the First Foundations program.

Successful candidates need to be committed to doing quality work and following an engineered process.

You should have a well-established reputation for demonstrating integrity ñ you do what you say you will do.

As with any business owner, you must be willing to promote the great work your company does.

You should not be shy to tell people in your community what you do or to knock on the doors of local industry to ensure your company’s services are well known!

A financial investment is required – but the amount required can vary greatly.

How much investment is needed is based on the level of support and training required, the equipment and tools you purchase, the scope of work you might like to undertake, and your geographical location.

There are job grants that can help you cover training costs, as well as business support programs that help Indigenous entrepreneurs gain access to forgivable grants and financing.

We are happy to share the resources we know of with any Indigenous contractors who might be a good fit for First Foundations!

Levels of a First Foundations Installer

Beginner

A beginner has little experience in construction and/or equipment operation. For beginners, installs are usually done by a VersaPile crew. You’ll work with the install crew, and learn how a VersaPile foundation is properly installed. You get hands-on training installing reliable foundations, and gain experience.

Experienced

You have a fundamental understanding of construction, with basic experience operating equipment. In this stage, most often VersaPile will send a single foundation expert to your community. They will help you install a VersaPile foundation with your skills and equipment, and gain confidence in your work.

Expert

An expert is a Certified Installer, with experience installing VersaPile foundations in their community. At this level, all you’ll need is occasional support over email or phone from VersaPile. As an expert, you can take your skills and offer foundation contracting to neighboring communities and businesses.

Contact Us to Learn More About First Foundations

Indigenous Contact Form