Taille de pierre

The Best Kept Secret to Shape the World is in Lac-Mégantic: The UNIQUE Training Program in Stone Cutting in North America!

When we say that something is unique, people often think it may be overstated. When we say that something is unique in North America, people have doubt. But in our case here, it is very true. In North America, if someone has a passion for stone cutting or is simply attracted to this trade for artistic reasons; he has no choice but to learn “on the job”, as we say. This way of learning is well established but it may in this case limit opportunities for the worker.

But there is a solution!

The stone cutting training program offered by the Professional Training Centre “Le Granit” in Lac-Mégantic, Québec.

It is not by accident if this training program is offered in the region which is precisely named “The Granite Region”! Stone cutting is an integral part of the economic and social fabric of this beautiful region, like wood and textile.

The Professional Training Centre “Le Granit” was founded some 20 years ago. The granite companies in the region saw an opportunity to offer formal training in stone cutting. Moreover, the companies wanted to integrate artistic elements in the training program because they saw this trade as more than just the use of tools and machines. This vision was inspired by a certain European philosophy, where the beauty of the stone is as important as its functionality. Indeed, the stone cutting training program in Lac-Mégantic was put in place initially by a French immigrant who was working in the stone cutting business in the Montreal region.

Today, this will not surprise you; there are not enough graduates to fulfill all the demands by the companies! 100% placement rate! Many university and college programs can’t rival this high placement rate. The stone cutting program would like to welcome more students than the ten they actually have on average each year. From this enrollment, seven will usually graduate and finish the program.

Two Training Components: Restoration and Manufacturing

As mentioned, stone cutting goes beyond the simple handling of the stone and its functionality. The program offers 2 mandatory fields of study/application: restoration and manufacturing. These two components are very appreciated by the students: it enables students to better understand the different material they will work with and it also gives them time to see which specialties they prefer to work in according to their taste and skills.

The types of employers are more diversified also with the 2 components:

In restoration, graduates can start their own business and execute restoration mandates. If you like to travel, these contracts are also in big demand all over the world. Don’t forget, your stone cutting skill becomes MOBILE, like our mobile devices! One of the graduates of the stone cutting program is now in England restoring buildings.

Étudiant en taille de pierre au laserGraduates can also work for companies specialized in restoration of stone buildings, monuments, etc. They can work for general contractors with mandates to restore heritage buildings (stone mouldings for example). For example, in construction companies, graduates in stone cutting can be of great help to masons and brick-layers on the work site by noticing fine details of the type of stone used (direction in stone laying depending on the type of stone used).

In manufacturing, graduates who chose this path have the opportunity to join manufacturers and installers of tiles, countertops, steps, monuments, etc.

Students can now use a laser machine to measure stone work in kitchens or stone façades for buildings.

The training is a one- year program and includes a practical internship in a company. For those who already have experience in the field, the Professional Training Center “Le Granit” offers credential recognition and this can reduce the training time. The program can also be done part-time with work as well (work-study). The Centre ideally would like to have at least 15 students enrolled each year in order to serve the great needs in the market.

What is usually the students’ background for this training?

Students all have a very diverse background and experience: from the special education teacher to the brick-layer. Some are also coming directly from high school (in parallel with secondaire 3 DEP).

The Professional Training Centre has an excellent collaboration with the granite enterprises in the region. Eight years ago, the Quebec government was looking at cancelling this training program but 40 support letters from companies in the region helped turn this decision around and it kept the much appreciated program in Lac-Mégantic.


The main challenge is to recruit enough students interested in completing the program. Stone cutting is considered a “traditional sector” and is less sought-after by the younger generation. It is sad because numerous opportunities abound in this field.

There are still many myths surrounding the « traditional sectors”. Few know how they can use their creativity in this kind of work today. For the restoration specialty, your imagination is the only limit of what you can accomplish.

When you enroll in a stone cutting training program, you contribute to the protection of the work of builders who went before us. You are a link in the transmission of this know-how in the continuum of time. Beyond the technical aspect, this training enables to share the genuine love for stone material and the pride in beautiful work. It is to be part workman, part artist!

Your satisfaction during the training grows with the new contacts you make and who are glad to share their know-how and experience with the students.

Don’t miss your chance of carving out your place in the world of great builders!







A 9th model home to tour at Maison Usinex

Maison Usinex will be officially opening a ninth model home in Milan in the coming weeks. This prefabricated home has been built incorporating new trends in design and comfort, with the best quality-price ratio on the market.

The Maison Usinex team will be pleased to welcome you and give you a tour of this outstanding home!

For information on new developments and our promotions, visit our website www.maisonusinex.com or Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/MaisonUsinexInc) regularly!

Partnership Agreement on the Colibri Project

Rhône-Alpes, December 5  2014 – The City of  Lac-Mégantic and Pôle Innovations Constructives, located in the Rhône-Alpes region, in France, signed a partnership agreement on the construction of a sustainable development building model in downtown Lac-Mégantic.

Signature entente ColibriThe project, named Colibri, will be erected on the site of the former “capitainerie”, near the marina where the Citron Vert restaurant was located before the 2013 tragedy. This building had to be demolished rapidly after the accident due to major oil contamination at that location.

The partnership agreement was signed by the mayor of Lac-Mégantic, Mrs. Collette Roy Laroche and the president of Pôle Innovations Constructives (PIC), Mr. Jacques Lauvin, in a special meeting at the Cité de l’environnement in Saint-Priest (France), in the presence of the companies and major partners involved in the project. The Colibri, named after a fable on the contribution that each can make after a tragedy, is set to become a symbol of the relationship built over many years between Lac-Mégantic and the Nord Isère region. The building will integrate many perspectives and new sustainable construction technologies. PIC’s mission is to encourage the development of skills in this field within the Rhône-Alpes region.

“Reinvent the City” Undertaking – Presented at an International Conference

Colette Roy LarocheLyon, Wednesday December 3 2014 — The citizen’s undertaking “Reinvent the City”, in progress in Lac-Mégantic in order to rebuild the downtown core, radiates throughout Europe. The mayor of Lac-Mégantic, Mrs. Colette Roy Laroche, presented the strategy at the International Conference – Sustainable City Solutions – held at the Eurexpo Complex in Lyon, France.

In a perspective of sustainable development, the citizen’s participation is central in this process. The participation and commitment of the citizens are in effect enshrined in the Québec legislation on sustainable development and cities are invited to follow.

”Instead of using the typical public consultation process, we chose to start from the ideas and dreams of our citizens to elaborate the reconstruction plan, said Mrs. Roy Laroche. The preliminary plan in this sense translates the desires and aspirations of our citizens. And we will continue to work with the citizens on the planning, in light of the possibilities and constraints that will come up”.

We chose citizen participation over citizen consultation, indicated Mrs. Roy Laroche; for us, the nuance is important.

The mayor of Lac-Mégantic was part of a panel that included participants from China, Korea, France and Japan. The objective was to present the attendees different approaches within the concept of sustainable city solutions.

She recalled the dramatic consequences of the rail tragedy in the summer of 2013; which left the town with 47 deceased and destroyed a major part of their historic downtown. She then moved on to present the citizen participation undertaking to foster the success of the rebuilding and recovery activities.

“It is not simply a question of getting back up on our feet, said Mrs. Roy Laroche, but to do it by becoming stronger, with a city that is better than before. We have an opportunity – a sad opportunity evidently – but nonetheless an opportunity to improve our quality of life in Lac-Mégantic, and become a city that is even more attractive.”

The mayor of Lac-Mégantic is spending a few days in the Lyon region where she will meet with different partners interested in the reconstruction project, more specifically in the Nord Isère region. The Nord Isère Region Chamber of Commerce and Pôle Innovations Constructives (PIC) have built friendly relationships over many years.