Welcome to Paragon Orthotic Laboratory – Canada’s leading manufacturer of quality prescription orthoses. Since our founding in 1975, we have continued to develop and refine our manufacturing techniques and materials in order to improve the quality of our products and services. Our goal is to make prescribing orthotics a process that flows as smoothly as possible. That’s why we offer technical advice in casting methods, assistance with product selection, help with insurance issues, and we are always immediately available to answer any questions you may have regarding your orders or biomechanical challenges regarding your patients’ orthotics.
Diversity is our greatest asset
We believe that in order to have a superior product, you need superior craftsmen. Although training and experience are fundamental in producing high quality prescription orthotics, there needs to be a commitment from the employer to make this job an appealing career. You simply cannot have high quality orthotics when you have a high employee turnover …or unhappy employees who feel like they’re simply being exploited to maximize profit. So we ensure our employee benefits and wages are not only competitive in our industry, but also the gold standard in wage compensation for their labor.
All jobs in our laboratory are Union jobs with starting wages well above the Provincial and Federal minimum wage. Our full-time, as well as part-time positions all have paid sick days, paid vacation and paid holidays accrued from their point of hire. We offer generous vision and dental in addition to our Group Health insurance plans. Their jobs are secure with recognized Job Security as agreed to by our Collective Agreement. And we give annual wage increases that match the standard Cost of Living Index for our very expensive region. And we make it a point to cross train each employee in at least two other stations so they are not doing the same, repetitive task all day long.
We are also proud to have a special relationship with the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Center where we go to first in looking for new employees. We believe in seeking out qualified people who have successfully escaped their turbulent homelands in search of rebuilding a better life for themselves and their families. We believe in the Canadian values of diversity and inclusiveness and as such, our craftsmen speak a myriad of different languages and offer exciting, interesting backgrounds and perspectives that are the result of a multi-cultural workforce.
Three quarters of the way through the 20th century, the market for prescription foot orthotics was brand new. Dr. Glenn Cornwell DPM, saw the need for serious minded doctors to begin pioneering the industry to ensure that quality devices were available.
With a couple of small tools and an ambition to provide the highest quality orthotics to his fellow practitioners, Paragon Orthotic Laboratory got it's start in Dr. Cornwell's garage, in Victoria, B.C.
Building a Community
With the launch of our first newsletter in 1984, we sought to start a conversation about biomechanical issues that may be of interest to our community of practitioners. Still going strong to this day, our newsletter has kept up with the times to try and tackle subjects of the moment.
It has served as an intellectual forum for hundreds of doctors who have written articles for us, and we take great pride in it's contribution to the industry.
Pioneering An Industry
Since it's founding 10 years earlier, Paragon had grown to fully embrace it's research and development DNA. From small improvements to big, the growing team of technicians knew that a better way was always just around the corner.
This ambition and attention to quality turned Paragon from a business in a garage, into one of North America's leading Orthotic Laboratories.
Around the turn of the millenium, new technologies began to produce compelling results. We embraced them whole-heartedly, as we saw the evidence of superior quality in the final product.
Routers, Computer-Aided-Design systems, and new workflow softwares revolutionized our manufacturing process. From this point on, it was Paragon 2.0. Our highly skilled craftsmen now had the finest tools available to work with.
The Modern Age
As with any industry growing as quickly as ours, the market can often become saturated with many players, and a "race to the bottom" mentality can start as a by-product of competition. Prices, and quality of product can start to free fall. The early 2000's in the orthotic industry were no different.
Ignoring what others were doing, and sticking to our customer-first DNA, we kept improving our technology and our process, and have enjoyed our most successful period.
The previous 12 months have seen our biggest period of reinvestment and growth to date, and we couldn't be more excited about the next 12 months. We've been working on some exciting products and systems to make the quality of our orthotics better than ever.
Holding true to the values that Dr. Cornwell infused in Paragon almost 50 years ago, we look forward to maintaining our place on the cutting-edge of the industry.