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Saturday, May 18, 2024
Courtesy of Collavino Family

Courtesy of Collavino Family
  Valentino (Rigo) Collavino was born in Muris, in the province of Udine, in the Friuli region of northeastern Italy, in 1926. In 1950, he left Italy to come to Canada.

In 1954, Rigo and his brother, Mario, started their own business--Collavino Brothers Construction. They worked long days, laying bricks and blocks, and pouring concrete. Soon they began building custom homes. They went on to bigger and better things; in 1968 they built the trades wing at the main campus of St. Clair College, which accommodated approximately two hundred additional students. In 1969, Collavino Brothers built Windsor’s first high-rise apartment building (Solidarity Towers).
In 1975, Collavino Brothers Construction diversified their portofolio by opening a precast/prestressed concrete manufacturing facility in Windsor, Ontario. They serviced all of Ontario, focusing on the manufacturing and installation of hollowcore floor. During those early years the Company increased their scope of work to include more diverse structural precast/prestressed concrete products and services. In 1978, the Company established a U.S. subsidiary (Hollowcore Inc.) in order to venture into the American markets of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and New York.
During the early years, Rigo brought his son, Loris, to the office to learn the industry, whenever possible. As he grew older, Loris went to work at various Collavino job sites throughout Canada and around the world. He worked in the precast manufacturing plant. Loris graduated from the University of Windsor in 1983 as a professional engineer.

In 1991, Rigo and Mario went their separate ways, with Rigo retaining ownership of Prestressed Systems Inc. That same year Loris took over the day-to-day operations of Prestressed Systems Inc. The Company grew significantly in the nineties, and in 2003, it purchased a state-of-the-art production facility in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Now, with a workforce of over two hundred employees and projects located from Pittsburgh to Chicago, and Quebec to Kentucky, Prestressed Systems Inc. is a national leader in the manufacturing of prestressed/precast concrete solutions.

Other noteworthy projects that Prestressed Systems Inc. has been contracted to do are the Metro Detroit Airport parking deck, Chrysler Canada headquarters parking deck, Villas on Normandy in LaSalle, and Bridge Street Bridge (the first precast carbon fibre bridge in North America). A current project is the new University of Windsor stadium.

In 2002, the Valentino Collavino family was honoured by the Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association of Windsor with an Award of Excellence in Family Business, and Loris Collavino is a 2003 Nova Award winner.

Rigo and Loris Collavino along with Prestressed Systems Inc. are gold medal donors to the Windsor and District Italian Canadian Handicapable Association, and are regular contributors to the Children’s Aid Society, the United Way, and are involved with a humanitarian work in China, as well as other deserving charities.

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The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.


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