On April 1, construction industry leaders from across the country formed a new national organization to help keep a steady flow of highly skilled workers available to the growing industry. Called BuildForce Canada (www.buildforce.ca), it is replacing the Construction Sector Council (CSC) after 10 years of operations. “In the wake of the end of the federal government’s Sector Council Program, industry leaders have stepped up to the plate,” says Executive Director Rosemary Sparks. “We have a new brand, a new Board of Directors, a new funding model and a new governance structure,” she says. “But our mandate will continue to address the need for a skilled workforce in the construction industry.”
“The products and services that have helped the industry thrive over the past decade, such as the annual labour market forecasts, will continue to be a priority,” says board member Mark Arnone, vice president of Refurbishment Execution, Ontario Power Generation, noting that the Construction Looking Forward reports, which look ahead nine years, have been key in helping businesses across the country plan for and manage workforce requirements.
“As we continue to experience strong construction markets and growing demand for skilled labour, the industry clearly requires comprehensive labour market information,” says board chair Robert Blakely, Director of Canadian Affairs for the Building and Construction Trades Department AFL CIO. “We will build on the model we have set up to deliver that information, which includes consultation with many diverse stakeholders.”
“We will continue to determine what is needed by looking at human resource issues in a thoughtful, planned and scientific way,” said board member John Schubert, president of McCaine Electric Ltd., stressing that priorities will continue to be decided based on research. “Experience with the CSC has also shown that the consensus approach to solutions works best. By working together we can and have accomplished more than any one organization ever could.”
The new BuildForce Canada Board of Directors has broad representation from the construction industry and its members include contractors, labour groups and owner/client companies, and includes:
• Arnone, Mark, Vice President, Refurbishment Execution, Ontario Power Generation
• Blakely, Robert, Director of Canadian Affairs, Building and Construction Trades Department AFL CIO
• Cochrane, Bob, Executive Liaison to Government and Industry, JV Driver Projects
• Dillon, Patrick, Business Manager / Secretary Treasurer, Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario
• Flood, J. Timothy, President, John Flood and Sons (1961) Ltd.
• Heinen, Dick, Executive Director, Christian Labour Association of Canada
• Kucheran, Robert, General Vice President – Canadian Region, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
• Miller, Dean, General Manager, Business Services Oil Sands Project Development and Execution, Nexen Inc.
• Oakey, Terrance, President, Merit Canada
• Ringrose, Barry, General Manager, Major Projects Construction, Suncor Energy
• Schubert, John, President, McCaine Electric Ltd.
• Taylor, Christina, Manager, Labour Relations and Workforce Development, Irving Oil