By Anthony Capkun
April 3, 2013 – Construction industry stakeholders from across Canada have formed a new national organization to help “keep a steady flow of highly skilled workers available to the growing industry”: BuildForce Canada.
“In the wake of the end of the federal government’s Sector Council Program, industry leaders have stepped up to the plate,” said executive director Rosemary Sparks. “We have a new brand, a new board of directors, a new funding model and a new governance structure… But our mandate will continue to address the need for a skilled workforce in the construction industry.”
The new organization opened its doors April 1, replacing the Construction Sector Council (CSC), which has been working with industry to provide credible, well-respected labour market forecasting and other resources and services for 10 years. It is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Sector Council Program.
“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,” said board member Mark Arnone, vice-president of refurbishment execution, Ontario Power Generation (OPG), 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.
“BuildForce Canada is an innovative organization, and we will be unveiling other exciting projects as we determine priorities over the coming months,” said board chair Robert Blakely, director of Canadian Affairs for the Building and Construction Trades Department AFL CIO.
Board member John Schubert, president of McCaine Electric Ltd., stressed that priorities will continue to be decided based on research: “We will continue to determine what is needed by looking at human resource issues in a thoughtful, planned and scientific way.” Schuber added that experience with the CSC has shown the consensus approach to solutions works best.
Here is the board of directors:
• Arnone, Mark: VP 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