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Member Spotlight

The Economy Builders: Knappett Projects Inc

By March 23, 2022No Comments

Knappett Projects Inc. is a company built on the shared values of integrity and innovation, known for their commitment to excellence and an abiding dedication to improving the lives of the communities they serve.

Q&A with Knappett Projects Inc

What do all of the following have in common? Camosun College Health Sciences building, 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron facility, Kinsol Trestle restoration, Spencer Middle School seismic upgrade and Nanaimo’s Reservoir No.1 and Energy Recovery Facility.

If you guessed that they are all among the 700-plus projects completed by Knappett Projects Inc. since it began in 1983, you’d be right.

A founding member of South Island Prosperity Partnership, Knappett provides clients with a full spectrum of services, from initial design through to completion. What drives this company, along with its commitment to quality, is its dedication to the community. Projects Knappett supports include the United Way, The Mustard Seed Food Bank, Our Place Society, Cool Aid Society, Anawim House, Camosun College Foundation and Vancouver Island University.

John H. Knappett, P.Eng, President of Knappett Projects Inc., shares his perspective on what it takes to build and sustain a healthy, vital economy in the Greater Victoria region. 

John Knappett
John H. Knappett, P.Eng, President of Knappett Projects Inc.

Why did you join South Island Prosperity Partnership?

Our business and our community relies on a healthy economy. We cannot stand still and rely on past industries to provide the employment and vitality needed today. We need to attract and maintain new vigorous economic partners and the best way to do that is in collaboration with all Governments, Businesses, and local First Nations in one organization. 

What do you see as key to growing a resilient, robust economic future for our region?

The key is to have diverse and productive private sector employers complimented by appropriate and supportive Government services. All sectors must work together to provide the region with the infrastructure both human and physical that supports a modern economy and makes Victoria an attractive destination for leading businesses.

What is our region’s secret sauce when it comes to competing internationally to attract quality talent, businesses with household sustaining jobs, and investment?

This region is an amazing place to build a business, a career and raise a family. When compared to other destinations, our region is sought after for its safety, stability and (surprisingly) affordability, despite recent challenges in the housing sector. Surrounded by a world renown ocean greenspace, verdant landscape and welcoming people, we have many advantages. 

What are you most excited about in terms of your own organization’s plans and potential?

We have a young and very professional staff that has been trained in-house, and systems that are the latest and best in the industry. We have invested in countless labour-saving site methods and quality enhancing training throughout our company, from the construction sites to the boardroom.

What’s one thing about your organization you really want people to know that they probably don’t know?

We employ more Professional Engineers, Engineers in training and Trades Apprentices than any other Vancouver Island Construction Company. We are Professional with a capital P. 

What challenges are you most invested in helping our community overcome and why?

Our focus is on homelessness. Without a roof over your head and a place to call home people quickly sink into despair and health challenges. That is why we strongly support Victoria Cool Aid Society, Our Place Society,  Anawim House and the Dandelion Society, amongst many other community organizations from Victoria to the Comox Valley that seek our support. Community matters. 

What lessons have most profoundly impacted you since the pandemic sent shockwaves through our community and economy?

How fragile our communities are and how important human relationships are for all of us. 

When you envision the South Island region in 2040, what will have changed? What does our future look like?

It will probably be more Ukrainian 😊. Ok, just kidding…sort of. We will probably rely even less on natural resource industries and more on high technology and light manufacturing especially in the marine sector. Our population will be even more densely housed and urban than today, and our various downtowns will be vibrant hubs of social activities.