Ontario Construction News staff writer
It was an action-packed day for close to 50 high school students in Barrie on Oct. 7.
Students participated in the Barrie Construction Association’s (BCA) annual career day, an opportunity to learn about constructions jobs and the heavy equipment used at job sites.
This year, students visited three sites – Hwy 400 split construction – Dufferin Construction site; Battlefield Equipment Rentals expansion – Bertram Construction site and the Lafarge Quarry site.
It was a chance for participants to meet skilled tradesmen and construction professionals on the job. Also, an important opportunity for the BCA to promote the trades.
“We’re trying to show them the opportunities they can have in the trades,” said Brian Westermann. “We’re promoting the trades because, as everyone is aware, we have a shortage in the skilled trades.”
The BCA has been inviting students to its local sites annually, for the past five years.
In the most recent survey of BCA members, the number one issue identified was the shortage of skilled workers and hiring challenges.
Many of our members are small to medium enterprises that depend heavily on securing local, skilled trades and the BCA created an annual Construction Career Day to introduce select high school students to the world of construction.
“The goal is let students know that construction is a career choice that requires skilled workers who are problem solvers, enjoy working on a team and being proud,” said Alison Smith, BCA executive director.
“We tell them the good news about construction. It is a career, not a job. It is not about physical strength, but about brains. It is not about who has the biggest truck or who drinks the most beer.
“It is about skill. It is about commitment. It is about solving problems. It is about working as part of a team; delivering what you promise. It is about being educated, helping people, about being a professional, and being proud of what you do.”
The BCA thanked the Skilled Trades Committee, members that supported site tours and the many volunteers that contributed to the success of the day, including:
- 3M Canada – Nicole McArthur
- Advanced Roof Solutions – Linda Ralston
- Arnott Construction – Todd Arnott
- Bertram Construction – John Gibson
- Brian’s Little Electric – Brian Westermann
- Dufferin Construction – Gerald Sullivan, K.D. Singh, Mark Stapf
- Dutch Masters Design and Construction Services – Gary van Bolderen
- Gerrits Engineering – Taylorr Lewis
- Lafarge Canada Inc – Mark Lambie
- Powell (RH) Contracting – Chantal Seguin
- Sunbelt Rentals – Scott Everton
The following assisted with promotions:
- Ontario Construction Career Alliance – Nicole Stoikos
- Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program
- Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board – Steacy Hinton
- Simcoe County District School Board – Elaine McLachlin