FORT WORTH, Texas, November 5, 2013 — Long ago young people in America could get a good, life-long career right out of high school. Even dropouts could have a future. Americans were able to make a decent living, support a family and save for retirement without a college degree.
People knew back then that if you took a job in the trades you would never go hungry.
Michigan's business climate and economy continues to recover from the devastating job losses of the past five years. However, the state's labor exchange system is being challenged to find talent for businesses who are seeking individuals with new and emerging skill sets. The growing shortage of skilled workers threatens our economic competitiveness. To address this need, the Governor recommended and the Legislature supported the creation of the Skilled Trades Training Fund (STTF) program for Fiscal Year 2014 (October 1, 2013 - September 30, 2014.)
NEW ORLEANS — A Harahan manufacturing company has had to recruit outside Louisiana for skilled trade workers. The Laitram Corp. isn't alone in its difficulty finding trained workers for such jobs as electricians and welders.
Turner Industries Group, an industrial construction and vessel fabrication company, expects its Gulf Coast sites to be about 12,000 workers short over the next two years, project manager Rodney Landry told New Orleans CityBusiness (http://bit.ly/1aEuZpa ).
Manitoba's Skilled Tradespeople to Get Career Boost
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - Oct. 29, 2013) - Graduates of skilled trades educational and apprenticeship programs are being offered a new set of tools to complement the skills of their trade and build a business through Entrepreneurship in the Skilled Trades. This initiative, presented by the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) and supported by the Government of Manitoba, provides workshops, mentoring, start-up financing, networking opportunities and online resources to Manitoba-based skilled tradespeople between 18 and 39 who are interested in gaining the entrepreneurial skills needed to run their own business.
Dan Walters: California construction unions get two big wins
Union membership among California’s private employers has been on a downward slide for decades – with two notable exceptions.
As health care, already California’s largest economic sector, continues to grow, unions of hospital and other medical workers continue to expand.
Union membership also remains strong in the “building trades,” particularly among companies that bid on public works projects, thanks to an 82-year-old state law called “prevailing wage.”
In essence, it requires contractors on such projects to pay union wages to carpenters, electricians, plumbers and other tradesmen. And it is the core of a perpetual political struggle in the Capitol as the State Building & Construction Trades Council defends it and attempts to expand its reach, doing battle with local governments, nonunion contractors and other foes.
With a new president, Robbie Hunter, at the helm, a Democratic governor and big Democratic majorities in the Legislature, the construction union organization made a high-octane push in the Capitol this year. And when Gov. Jerry Brown had finished passing judgment, it had scored two big wins and one relatively small loss.
Toronto to Host the 2014 Skills Canada National Competition
OTTAWA, Oct. 28, 2013
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry (UA) Sign on as Presenting Sponsors
OTTAWA, Oct. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Skills/Compétences Canada, a not-for-profit organization that actively promotes careers in skilled trades and technologies, today announced that Canada's top skilled trade and technology students, along with government representatives, industry leaders, trainers and educators, will gather in Toronto at the International Centre from June 4-7, 2014 for the 20th annual Skills Canada National Competition. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry (UA) have signed on as Presenting Sponsors.
NWTC, state officials optimistic on future of manufacturing in Wisconsin
For years the manufacturing sector, along with the state and educational leaders, have been working to attract future employees to pursue skilled jobs available in areas heavy in skilled trade jobs such as Northeastern Wisconsin.
On Tuesday, education and government officials said gains are being made in attracting potential workers, and in changing attitudes and perceptions about 21st century manufacturing operations.
Minister Kenney urges employers to find skilled workers at home
Calgary, Alberta, October 17, 2013—In a keynote speech today at the very first Skilled Migration National Employer Conference, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, emphasized the importance of addressing skills shortages to support economic growth and long-term prosperity in Canada.
Minister Kenney also spoke about the government’s Speech from the Throne which reaffirmed the Government of Canada’s priorities as creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians by protecting the economy, keeping taxes low and keeping Canadian families and communities safe.
“Canadians, including newcomers, must always be first in line for available jobs. Searching for the best candidate should begin at home,” said Minister Kenney. “Canada has one of the best-educated workforces in the world, but there are too many people without jobs and jobs without people. Our Government is taking action to increase employment by ensuring Canadians are able to fill job vacancies.”
Minister Kenney also stressed that attracting and retaining the best international talent is critical to Canada’s growth and competitiveness. For this reason, the Government is building a faster, more flexible immigration system that is focused on economic growth, allowing Canada to select the high-calibre, job ready newcomers that employers need. Canadian employers were also encouraged to develop their own employees and invest more in training and apprenticeships.
Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes new measures to connect Canadians to available jobs by equipping them with the skills and training they need. These include the Canada Job Grant, creating opportunities for apprentices and providing support to under-represented groups.
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This news release is available in alternative formats on request.
For further information (media only):
Alexandra Fortier Office of the Minister 819-994-2482
IF THERE IS A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ANY PRINTED VERSION AND THE ELECTRONIC VERSION OF THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE ELECTRONIC VERSION WILL PREVAIL.
The Government of Canada’s Foreign Credential Recognition Program and Services
The Foreign Credential Recognition Program improves the integration of internationally trained workers into the workforce. The Program works with and provides funding to provinces, territories and other stakeholders—including regulatory bodies, post‑secondary institutions, sector councils and employers—to implement projects that facilitate the assessment and recognition of qualifications acquired in other countries.
Established in May 2007, the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO) provides information and referral services, both in Canada and overseas, to help internationally trained workers have their credentials assessed quickly.
Internationally trained workers can find online services through the FCRO website atwww.credentials.gc.ca
Also, in 2005 the Government of Canada launched the Internationally Educated Health Professionals Initiative. This initiative works with provinces, territories and stakeholders to enable more internationally educated health professionals put their skills to work in Canada's health system.
In February 2012, the Government introduced the Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Pilot Project. Delivered in cooperation with community organizations, this pilot is helping internationally trained professionals cover the costs of having their credentials recognized, so they can find jobs that best suit their skills and experience.
Opportunities for Apprentices
To further reduce barriers to accreditation in the skilled trades in Canada and increase opportunities for apprentices, the Government will work with provinces and territories to harmonize requirements for apprentices, and examine the use of practical tests as a method of assessment, in targeted skilled trades. This will support more apprentices in completing their training and encourage mobility across the country.
In addition, the Government will support the use of apprentices in federal construction and maintenance contracts. The Government will also ensure that funds transferred to provinces and territories through the Investment in Affordable Housing Program support the use of apprentices. As part of the new Building Canada plan for infrastructure, the Government will encourage provinces, territories and municipalities to support the use of apprentices in infrastructure projects receiving federal funding.
The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) is a $1,000 taxable cash grant for apprentices who complete the first and/or second level of their apprenticeship program in a designated Red Seal trade, to a maximum of $2,000. The AIG was announced as part of Budget 2006.
The Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG) is a $2,000 taxable cash grant for eligible apprentices who successfully complete their apprenticeship training and receive their journeyperson certification in a designated Red Seal trade. The ACG was announced as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2009.
As a result of these grants, apprentices who complete their apprenticeship training in a designated Red Seal trade and become certified journeypersons could be eligible to receive up to $4,000. To date, the Government of Canada has issued over a half-billion dollars in apprenticeship grants for Canadians.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program
On April 29, to strengthen and improve the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the Government announced planned legislative, regulatory and administrative changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
To date, the Government of Canada has implemented the following changes from that announcement:
require employers to pay temporary foreign workers at the prevailing wage by removing the previous wage flexibility;
temporarily suspended the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (LM0) process;
introduce fees for employers for the processing of Labour Market Opinions so that the taxpayers are no longer subsidizing these costs;
identify English and French as the only languages that can be identified as a job requirement;
increase the recruitment efforts that employers must make to hire Canadians before they will be eligible to apply for temporary foreign workers, including increasing the length and reach of advertising; and
add questions to LMO applications to ensure that the TFWP is not used to facilitate the outsourcing of Canadian jobs.
The following planned changes are still under development as part of the ongoing reform of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and will be implemented in the coming months:
increase the Government’s authority to revoke work permits and suspend, revoke and refuse to process Labour Market Opinions (LMO) if employers are misusing the program; and
ensure employers who rely on temporary foreign workers have a firm plan in place to transition to a Canadian workforce over time.
Job Bank and Job Alerts
Job Bank is the Government of Canada’s free job listing and employment information website. Each year, Job Bank helps hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers, job seekers and employers connect online.
As part of the Government’s overall strategy to connect Canadians with available jobs, the enhanced Job Alerts system was launched in January 2013 to include more timely and relevant job postings as well as information about the local job market. Subscribers to Job Alerts receive, by email, jobs posted on Job Bank up to twice a day. Job Alerts also delivers relevant, up-to-date information on the job market straight to the subscriber’s inbox. For more information, visit jobbank.gc.ca
Economic Action Plan 2013
Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes new measures to equip Canadians with the skills and training they need to fill skills shortages and succeed in the Canadian labour market. These include the Canada Job Grant, which will invest in skills training for unemployed and underemployed Canadians, better ensuring they are qualified to fill the high-quality, well-paying jobs that are available. Economic Action Plan 2013 is also creating opportunities for apprentices and providing support to under-represented groups such as Canadians with disabilities, Aboriginal people, newcomers and youth.
Chicago, IL - Grainger launched an interactive skilled trades playbook, called "Dynamic Partnerships for a New Economy," designed to connect businesses and community colleges in an effort to boost local workforce development. The Playbook, developed in partnership with Skills for America's Future, serves as a one-stop, how-to guide with tips, best practices and other tools to help businesses and community colleges work together to train and advance workers in the industrial skilled trades.
One of the worst things the schools did was taking out the hands-on classes such as art, music, sewing, woodshop and auto mechanics. These classes provide four important avenues for both education and success. They motivate kids who love hands-on activities to remain interested in coming to school and learning. They also teach practical problem solving and for some students, serve as refuges from bullies. A fourth and final advantage of teaching classes such as auto mechanics is introducing students to the highly skilled trades. Highly skilled trades such as mechanic, certified welding and electrician are bright spots in the economy where there are lots of high paying jobs.
If you’ve spent any amount of time trying to recruit employees for construction and green energy projects, you know that the demand for skilled labor is at record highs. What has become apparent this year, is that finding construction employees is more difficult than years past. After a tremendous 2012 for a lot of companies, 2013 is a new struggle that we haven’t encountered in a long time … if ever.
An aging generation of quality construction workers combined with a recession that drove experienced tradesmen into new careers is making the recovery a challenge for firms. This dilemma is the opposite of what the industry experienced during the 2008 – 2010 recession when demand for new construction was down and labor was abundant.
- See more at: http://www.skilledtrades.com/soaring-demand-for-flexible-workforce
See more at: http://www.skilledtrades.com/soaring-demand-for-flexible-workforce/
The Houston area needs welders. Demand far outstrips supply, thanks to the continuing strength of the oil and gas industry here as well as the large number of these skilled workers reaching retirement age.
Houstonians looking to enter the field have multiple opportunities for employment and for the education needed to obtain it.
"Houston is definitely the hub. More welders are needed here than anywhere else," said Tom Tynan, program director for the construction and trades department at Houston Community College. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms his statement. It ranks Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown as the top metropolitan area for employment of welders in the country.
How Will Professional Tradesmen Jobs of the Future Be Filled?
There’s a lot of talk about manufacturing jobs continuing to go away in this country. But when I talk to manufacturers, one of the biggest issues they talk about domestically is finding qualified help. Apprentice programs for tool and die makers are shrinking due to lack of interest. Even factory production jobs aren’t menial labor jobs anymore. It takes skill and training to run CNC or other sophisticated machines.
The same is true with professional tradesmen in the contracting field. Talk to a plumbing or electrical contractor and they say the same thing. There aren’t enough young folks getting into those trades as well.
So what’s the problem? A good plumber or electrician can make a very good living and their jobs can’t be outsourced. I used to belong to a country club and next to doctors, contractors were the next biggest category of members! NJATC, IBEW and other trade associations and unions have training programs in place. Spokespeople like Mike Rowe has a passion to get more people into the trades. He’s even testified in Washington about the challenges that face us as a nation.
Sonnhalter is deeply involved with the professional tradesmen. We recently updated our overview of the Plumbing market. The purpose of the document is to give the reader a quick snapshot of the industry and its players for the balance of 2013 and what to look for in 2014.
Included are association and buying group contacts, training firms, best practices, codes and standards, online resources, trade shows/meetings and media publications. A free copy for download is available. Click here
The Controls Freak: How is “Work Smart, NOT Hard” Bad Advice?
I am always telling people I work with and sometimes my bosses or company owners…”Work SMARTER, NOT Harder.” I have always been someone who looks to make something better or more efficient. I can’t stand to see others or myself doing something that seems to take a long time when it can be done much faster or done a different way to help in making it easier to teach someone else to do.
These posters were made from the mind of Mike Rowe and further below I begin to see the difference between my Smarter/Harder mantra and his Smart/Hard poster. My version has the ‘er and assumes you are already working smart and hard, but when given the opportunity to do more …or er’er of one of those… that you choose Smarter. Also, call me crazy, but the poster on the right sure seems to depict a Facilities person or a Controls Technician with his laptop, relatively clean, but rugged uniform and a nice fat smart phone. Quite the techie tradesman wouldn’t you say?
IRWIN Tools to Celebrate One of America's Real Working Hands at the IRWIN Tools Night Race
To All the Tradesmen – THANK YOU!
America’s tradesmen: they build our homes, roads, businesses, and schools. They keep our cars running, our lights on, our water flowing, and so much more. They are the backbone of our functioning nation — and that’s why they deserve a national day of recognition according to IRWIN® Tools and we agree! IRWIN® Tools invites the nation to celebrate National Tradesmen Day, on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. This day will focus the nation’s attention on “The Hands that Build America” and will include celebrations, recognition events and activities throughout the country.
Find Out More about National Tradesmen Day at HERE
Both the NDP and the Conservatives produced campaign promises Friday aimed at boosting Nova Scotia's construction industry and stemming the flow of workers in skilled trades from the province.
The Progressive Conservative party is promising to double the number of people in apprenticeship programs for skilled trades by changing regulations and hiking funding for training.
Party Leader Jamie Baillie said Friday his government would consult with industry and in some instances increase the number of apprentices who can work with one certified tradesperson.
The party says the current one-to-one ratio is more restrictive than Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Baillie is also promising $18 million over four years to fund training if his party wins the Oct. 8 election.
He said the changes are aimed at keeping more young people in the province, rather than migrating west to complete their training.
"We have a motivated workforce and we have opportunities for work on the horizon like the federal shipbuilding contract," Baillie said in the prepared text for his announcement at a Halifax-area construction firm.
"What we don't have is an apprenticeship system that can provide training to all our apprentices."
The Tories said their goal is to increase the number of registered apprentices to about 3,000 from 1,600, creating jobs for young people who have been leaving the province.
An NDP announcement also offered aid to the province's construction industry and skilled-trades workers.
Premier Darrell Dexter said the NDP would provide a 50 per cent rebate on the provincial portion of the harmonized sales tax on new home purchases.
He said that would mean people could get a maximum of up to $6,500 on the purchase and an additional $500 if the home meets energy efficiency standards. To receive the energy efficiency rebate new homes would need an energuide rating of 83 or higher.
A news release from the party says the program would reduce provincial revenues by about $10 million, but would support construction jobs and assist new homeowners.
Dexter criticized Baillie's announcement on apprenticeship ratios, saying the decision should be made by people who work in the trades, rather than political leaders.
"Those kinds of decisions shouldn't be made by political parties, they should be made by the experts in the trades themselves. In some cases it would be very inappropriate to have more than one apprentice with a particular tradesperson," he said in a telephone interview.
"I know in the trades opinions vary."
Dexter said the NDP doesn't have a position on whether to make regulations on apprenticeships conform with those in Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, B.C. and Alberta.
He said his government has worked with the other Atlantic provinces to ensure trade certification standards are made uniform across the four jurisdictions.
In life, it often seems that the good ones are out of reach—the best articles of clothing, the best table at a restaurant and the best jobs. We can’t answer for the other three, but can say for certain that some of the most reliable, respectable jobs are available, and Georgia has seen an explosion of opportunities in recent days.
Shaw Industries Group, Inc., the leading carpet tile manufacturer in North America, is bringing a facility to Bartow County, creating approximately 500 jobs. Trident Seafoods is installing a new processing facility in Carroll County, creating 175 new jobs. Hubei Xingfa Chemicals Group, a leading phosphate producer, has chosen Effingham County as the site for its new headquarters and manufacturing plant, creating 50 jobs. Reports reveal that two Kia suppliers could be coming to Georgia, creating hundreds of jobs. With an investment of $100 million, a yet unnamed manufacturing company may also bring Bibb County 200 jobs. This is not an exhaustive list; excellent careers are abundant, and they are ever growing in number.
New technology is one factor encouraging the increase. Solar energy, for example, continues to amplify the demand for construction workers as companies seek solar panel installers. Additionally, improvements to Georgia transportation, such as MARTA’s expansion down Georgia 400, intensify the necessity of skilled builders. Contributing even further to the desperate need for tradesmen is the skilled labor gap. For every four workers leaving skilled trades, there is only one new worker ready to fill their shoes. As aging tradesmen retire, the gap grows, and as more and more manufacturing and construction jobs pour into Georgia, literally thousands of positions are waiting for someone with the skills to seize them.
Go Build Georgia aims to provide information about these positions so that you can take advantage of valuable prospects as soon as they happen. Life as we know it depends on skilled trade laborers. They are the hands of our nation, the bolts that keep our infrastructure from falling apart. They are our highways, our high rises and our homes. Check into these essential, abundant careers.
LIMA — While the labor force will continue to grow slowly in the next five years, some jobs are growing faster than others.
Personal care and home health aides will have the highest growth rate through 2020 as well as gaining some of the most jobs by number, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Also high on the list for growth: nursing, retail sales, and skilled trades. Those job growth trends are part of economic development decisions made locally.
As with many pieces of the economy, baby boomers loom large, in this case an aging population that’s living longer causing demand for health care services. The health care and social assistance industry is expected to create about 28 percent of all new jobs created in the economy. The industry, including hospitals, nursing and residential care and individual and family services, is expected to grow by 33 percent, or 5.7 million new jobs between 2010 and 2020. Personal care and service, a separate industry that includes personal care aides, is expected to grow by 27 percent through 2020.
Health care, service, professional service and manufacturing, all industries showing growth, are in Allen County’s wheelhouse, said Jeff Sprague, president of Allen Economic Development Growth.
“You look at who we are, that’s what we do,” Sprague said. “We look at that every day when we’re planning local economic development. You first look at your infrastructure, your sites and make sure you’re prepared in that way. But workforce is a critical component of that. We look at our community assets, and that includes workforce. If you look at any number, any trend, how quickly the world has changed, the availability of workforce is at the top of every company, every site consultant’s list.”
Job growth is slowed partly because of technology increasing productivity without adding people. Sprague said he sees it in manufacturing.
“We hear from employers who say their productivity level has never been higher, but their number of jobs is less than in the past because some of technology driving those things,” Sprague said. “Technology is doing the same thing to health care, retail, service.”
There are new partnerships and a new focus on workforce development, Sprague said, among Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce, AEDG, businesses and schools.
“Looking at it more of a regional perspective, improving the communication stream,” Sprague said. “One thing that will separate communities that see growth from those that won’t is workforce development.”
As the overall economy improves, so is the construction and skilled trades industry, with people building new residential and commercial buildings, roads, bridges and other structures. Employment is expected to grow 22 percent from new and remodeled buildings and repairing and replacing the nation’s infrastructure.
A large portion of the projected construction industry gains reflect the recovery of nearly 2 million jobs during the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, and employment isn’t expected to `return` to prerecession levels until 2020, according to the federal government.
Skilled trades — masons, tile setters, pipefitters, plumbers, carpenters — are jobs in demand locally and nationally, because of a growing economy and an atrophied infrastructure, said Mike Knisely, president of the Ohio Building Trades and also business manager for the local Plumbers, Pipefitters and Service Technicians union.
“It’s a lack of maintenance for at least 40 years. It’s crumbling around us and nobody has paid attention to it until we’re closing bridges due to traffic loads, things like that,” Knisely said. “A strong country demands a strong infrastructure, but it’s been laid aside since the 1970s. The nation’s infrastructure has legacy issues: You have pipeline, electric grid with a life expectancy of 30, 40 years that’s 50, 60, 70 years old.”
Lima is blessed with its petrochemical complex that is home to many union skilled tradespeople, as it has for more than 100 years, Knisely said.
“Millions, if not billions, are going to be invested in those facilities in the next seven to 10 years. It’s huge,” Knisely said.
Filling job losses from the recession, meeting current demand and replacing retiring workers means a large demand for those jobs. Unions are prepared through new collaboration with chambers, schools, universities and other partners to make that happen, Knisely said. For example, agreements in place allow workers to earn a degree while working in their apprenticeship.
The building trades have a 98 percent retention rate, Knisely said, because a skilled trade job through a union isn’t just a job, it’s a career with a good wage, benefit and retirement package.
“We get kids into apprenticeship programs,” Knisely said, “And they don’t leave.”
FWCanada Comments on Canada's New Federal Skilled Trades Program
Montreal, Quebec (PRWEB) August 31, 2013
This month, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) welcomed the first permanent residents under its Federal Skilled Trades Program(FSTP) opened for application since January this year. This program is designed to swiftly respond to labour shortages in parts of Canada that are undergoing drastic economic growth, and offers immigration to those who are trained and experienced in certain in-demand trades, informs FWCanada, a Montreal-based immigration law firm.
"Our government remains focused on job creation, economic growth, and long-term prosperity. The new Federal Skilled Trades Program enables us to attract and retain skilled workers[...]so we can address regional labour shortages and strengthen Canada' s economy," said Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.
According to a press release by CIC, the FSTP has been created in response to requests for skilled workers from Canadian employers, mostly in the natural resources and construction sectors, to fill labour shortages. Skilled trades that the FSTP currently accepts are divided into four major groups and entail forty-three types of jobs in total.
"From an industry perspective, we are elated that the first ones of what we hope will be many new skilled trade professionals have been admitted to Canada[...]This new program responds directly to industry requests for a faster and more effective immigration program focused specifically on skilled professionals who are in short supply across Canada," said Michael Atkinson, President of the Canadian Construction Association.
To avoid backlog and ensure fast processing times, only 3,000 application spots are made available for the FSTP, and 100 spots for certain jobs this year, announced CIC. To be eligible for the program, applicants must demonstrate at least a basic level of language proficiency in either English or French on CIC-designated language tests, have two-year full-time work experience in a skilled trade in demand, and meet the employment requirement for a skilled trade outlined in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. Finally, the applicant must provide proof of a qualification certificate for a skill or an employment offer for at least one year of continuous full-time work in Canada.
"The Federal Skilled Trades Program is yet another tool in the Canadian employer's toolkit to find the workers they need to build Canada's future economy," said Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, and Multiculturalism. "This program, along with all other changes we are introducing, will help us move towards an immigration system that better supports Canada's economic growth and long-term prosperity."
Besides the FSTP, the Canadian immigration system offers two other programs specifically for skilled immigrants: the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Quebec Skilled Worker Program. Applicants who wish to reside in the province of Quebec are not eligible to apply for the FSTP, and must refer to the Quebec-selected skilled worker application.
About FWCanada: FWCanada is a Canadian Immigration Law Firm which provides expertise in immigration services such as Temporary Resident Permits, Criminal Rehabilitation, Study Permits and Work Permits. Marisa Feil and her team ensure that each case is closely evaluated to determine the most relevant program. For more information, contact FWCanada at 1-855-316-3555.
Workforce development was the key topic of discussion Wednesday morning as five Ohio legislators spoke on the local economy during the 2013 Business Roundtable presentation in Fostoria.
State Senators Randy Gardner and Cliff Hite were joined by Representatives Rex Damschroder, Robert Sprague and Tim Brown for the open forum-style presentation from 8-10 a.m. at the Roppe Training Center, 1616 N. Countyline St. The event was presented by the Roppe Corporation and Fostoria Economic Development Corporation (FEDC). Local business owners, city officials and administrators were also in attendance.
The event focused heavily on discussion of unemployment benefits, healthcare and job training in the skilled trade and agricultural industries.
With Ohio's current joblessness rate sitting steady at 7.2 percent and many Americans receiving unemployment benefits, Sen. Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) said lawmakers need to work together to put more personal responsibility on unemployed citizens before they can receive government-funded assistance.
"Years ago, people used to go where the jobs were. Now, people go where the benefits are," Gardner said. "People go where the government can help them more instead of them going where they can help their own families."
Tim Brown (R-Bowling Green) echoed Gardner's concerns, stating that he has been doing his part to combat the abuse of unemployment and welfare benefits, including the introduction of a bill that requires Ohioans applying for financial assistance to first register with an employment office to get help finding a job.
Brown said his idea for the legislation was born during his time as a commissioner when he introduced a requirement called Transitional Work for Injured Employees, which allowed the government to call workers' doctors to determine the true extent and duration of injuries.
"What we discovered was, while the employees were a little angry at first, by integrating them back into the workforce, they recovered quicker and they were around their peers," Brown said. "They weren't sitting at home developing bad habits like watching too much TV or eating the wrong foods ... things that lead to deep depression."
A two-pronged approach
The need for motivated workers trained in skilled trades was a theme that echoed loudly throughout the meeting, with all five visiting lawmakers expressing the desire for future generations to move toward pursuing jobs in fields like manufacturing, plumbing and agriculture.
"Is it really a wise investment to help someone major in world religions or women's studies issues?" Brown said. "Shouldn't we be targeting higher grant dollars and education loans to people who are going into studies that are going to lead to employment in our state?"
Brown said preparing future students for labor-related jobs starting in high school is just part of the two-pronged approach to helping solve the employment problem in the state.
"First, we need to stop incentivizing people who don't want to work," Brown said. "The second thing is reforming education ... We should have a pipeline of people going to college and a pipeline of people entering the workforce out of high school. We've steered people toward getting college degrees who graduate in debt and can't find work."
There's an excitement in David Byng's voice when he talks about young people going into skilled trades. Sure, it might be that he's BC's Deputy Minister of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training. More likely it's because, without trades training, Byng might not be where he is now. "33 years ago, I was just out of high school and working, being trained by professionals while on the job-it was a fantastic way to learn," says Byng, who operated a diamond drill in his youth. It seems like many young people fresh out of high school are following in Byng's footsteps and going the skilled trade route says Gary Herman, interim CEO of the Industry Training Authority (ITA).
"In terms of career progression, you'll find that many business owners, or employers, were once apprentices themselves," he adds.
An underestimated industry He cautions young people not to underestimate the wide array of jobs available in the trades. "Your trades ticket is more than a piece of paper, it's an opportunity to land a job with a competitive salary, here at home in British Columbia," says Herman.The province certifies more than 100 different trades-from funeral director to heavy equipment operator.
A wealth of opportunity As technology rushes to meet the demands of rapidly changing industries like liquefied natural gas in the province's North, the technical expertise to operate the heavy machinery and keep the equipment on the level will need to keep pace. Plus there's a looming demand driven by an aging population. "By 2020, there will be more than one million job openings in British Columbia and 43 per cent are expected to be trades or technical occupations," says Byng. It's a booming job market and the prospect of earning while learning is piquing young peoples' interest in the trades. "For recent high-school grads, trades training means that you can finish your post-secondary education with little to no student debt," says Herman."(It's) a career to be proud of."
Little more than seven months after it launched, Canada’s new skilled trades immigration stream has welcomed its first permanent residents to Canada.
Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and Employment Minister Jason Kenney made the joint announcement Friday in Toronto and Calgary where they welcomed a plumber from Ireland and an electrician who had already been working for a Calgary-based company since June 2012.
Eric Byrne originally arrived in Canada through a work-abroad program. While here, he got his Ontario trades certificate and found a job at University Plumbing and Heating.
“Canada is a great country and the people here have been exceptionally warm and welcoming,” Byrne said in a statement. “I am very pleased that I qualified for the Federal Skilled Trades Program as it recognizes the value of my skill set and has allowed me to stay in Canada and integrate seamlessly into my new status as a permanent resident.”
Paul Lyttle, also from Ireland, had been working as an electrician for Unitech Electrical Contracting Inc. since June 2012. Lyttle said he’s “grateful” for the opportunity to remain in Canada and looks forward to being able to make long-term plans.
The pair is the first of a number of successful applicants hailing from a variety of countries including India, Lithuania, Latvia and Germany.
“Our Government remains focused on job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity,” Alexander said. “The new Federal Skilled Trades Program enables us to attract and retain skilled workers . . . so we can address regional labour shortages and strengthen Canada’s economy.”
Kenney added the new stream is a “significant improvement” to Canada’s immigration system which “for too long had not been open to in-demand skilled workers.
“Immigrants like Paul are set for success and I am pleased that this new program will enable him, and others like him, to contribute skills to our economy on a permanent basis,” he said.
Previously, skilled tradespeople had to apply through either the Canadian Experience Class, which welcomes those who studied in Canada or were already working here temporarily, or the Provincial Nominee Program, which allows provinces to select immigrants who meet local labour market needs.
Announced in budget 2012 and officially launched in January, the new immigration stream aims to facilitate immigration for skilled tradespeople in a bid to address serious labour shortages in some parts of the country.
The government has earmarked about 3,000 spaces for skilled tradespeople.
Officials, however, couldn’t immediately say how many applications its received for the stream so far. The government did note that the approval rate for the program is around 88 per cent.
To qualify, applicants must have a prearranged job offer in Canada or a certificate of qualification from a province or territory that proves they’ll be “job ready” when they arrive.
They must also meet a basic language requirement, have at least two years of work experience as a skilled tradesperson and have the necessary skills and experience needed for the job.
Electricians, welders, heavy-duty equipment mechanics and pipe-fitters are among the occupations eligible for the new stream.
Chris Pyke, skills development supervisor at Linamar’s Frank Hasenfratz Centre for Excellence, teaches Alexandra Rak about the intricate capabilities of a CNC machine during a recent Skills Work! camp.
Skills Work! camp introduces girls to skilled trades
Watching machines cut and create new automobile components was an eye-opening experience for many of the young women participating in a recent Skills Ontariosummer camp.
“Watching the machines build the tools seemed pretty interesting. I’m thinking I could do that, it’s a pretty cool idea,” said 12-year-old camper Leah Eckerich.
The all girls Skills Work! camp at Linamar’s Frank Hasenfratz Centre for Excellence in Manufacturing in Guelph, Ont. was an opportunity for girls entering into Grade 7 and 8 to learn from experts in fields such as CNC machining, electrical and automation.
“It’s different because you don’t have any boys around you saying you can’t do this, only guys can do it,” said 14-year-old camper Alexandra Rak, who ``return``ed for a second year at the camp.
Eckerich, also a second year camper, wanted to ``return`` to the camp because they did things that most campers don’t normally get to do.
“We built electric cars and we built mini scissor lifts and I don’t think many other camps get to do that. It was fun.”
This is one of several camps delivered by Skills Ontario throughout the province this summer, which also includes camps with an Aboriginal focus.
“Skills Works! camps really give students a chance to see and try out hands on a lot of the trades that they wouldn’t get a chance to otherwise. Specifically with girls, we find that a lot of girls aren’t really apt to take tech classes in high school if they’re not really sure what they’re getting into,” explained Skills Ontario liaison officer Brie Holm.
Holm has been involved with the camps for about seven years and has noticed how they can influence the young students as they prepare to enter high school.
“I’ve noticed with a lot of the students that they have an idea of the pathway that they can take now that they didn’t have before.”
Chris Pyke, skills development supervisor at the Frank Hasenfratz Centre for Excellence in Manufacturing and a general machinist by trade, was a guest speaker at the camp and gave the group a tour of the Linamar plant, complete with hands-on demonstrations.
“I think it’s really important for our youth to see there’s other opportunities out there,” he said.
“I don’t think everybody learns through going to school, university, reading a book.”
He said having an all-girls camp is an “excellent” idea.
“I think for this business and for the future of trades, women are extremely important to how we move forward.”
During his presentation he said to the group that many of the best machinists he knows are women because they generally have a better attention to detail than their male counterparts.
During last year’s camp Rak, who now wants to be an electrician, toured different plants.
“I actually saw a few girls as well so that kind of changed my perspective on the entire thing. It’s not just males that can do this, females can also do this as well.”
Thinkopolis: The First Edition | Skilled Trades & Labour - August 2013
TORONTO, Aug. 9, 2013 -- /CNW/ - Statistics Canada has just announced that the nationalunemployment rate fell slightly to 7.2 per cent for the month of July.
Employment declines were concentrated among youths aged 15 to 24, as a result of less hiring this July compared with previous Julys.
The biggest changes were seen in business, building and other support services in July. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment grew by 6.2% one of the highest growth rates among all industries.
Canada continues to have a relatively high unemployment rate despite the fact that many employers report difficulty finding the skilled people they need to hire. While these workers may exist, they may not be located in regions where their skills are in demand. This may contribute to Canada's persistently high unemployment rate.
A national average unemployment rate of 7.2 per cent conceals the fact that there are regions experiencing acute labour shortages and other areas with much higher than average unemployment. There are also particular fields that are facing a severe lack of workers.
Job Trend - Skilled Trades & Labour
The demand for professionals in the skilled trades in particular has been growing steadily over the past year. By combining the Labour Force Survey with online job posting data and Workopolis' own research, we are able to see where in particular these workers are in demand, which skills are the most sought after, and how Canadians feel about relocating to where the jobs are.
This shortage of workers is leading to increased wages and more job availability for a wide variety of trades. So with the value of a four-year arts degree in question, more Canadians should take a serious look at the skilled trades.
Canadian business leaders agree there is a general shortage of skilled workers, and it stands to get worse as the baby boomer generation retires. Governments are taking action to close Canada's skills gap by encouraging people to consider the trades as a career path.
The possibility of new, steady, high paying jobs can be a solution for the cohort of young workers entering the job market. These millennials are experiencing nearly double the national average unemployment rate, and are entering a market full of more experienced candidates looking to transition out of industries in decline. These workers must be willing to relocate from regions experiencing high unemployment to more robust job markets. Consequently job seekers need to know which trades are in demand in which regions. Workopolis, Canada's leading careers and employment website, has the latest information on what help is wanted, and where.
With Canada's job market on the upswing, and the construction industry rebounding, Canadians can look forward to job openings in the trades. Information from Statistics Canada indicates a healthy increase in construction jobs since the summer of 2012.
Canadians and Mobility
Aspiring construction workers, vehicle repair and maintenance people, electricians and heavy machinery operators can all look forward to plenty of opportunity. Plumbers and pipefitters, welders and iron workers, carpenters and landscapers are also in high demand. A quick survey of Workopolis postings can give new graduates an idea of the experience employers are looking for. Job hunters may also find they need to relocate in order to maximize the value of their skills.
Canada has a vast landscape of employers. From the oilrigs off the coast of Newfoundland, to the climbing condo towers of Toronto, skilled tradespeople are in high demand.
Since the days of the dauntless voyageurs, Canadians have been going where the work is. However, not all of today's workers show the same enthusiasm for relocating.
A recent Workopolis survey shows that only 40 per cent of Canadians are interested in relocating for new opportunities, while 46 per cent indicated they would rather stay put.
Skilled Trades & Labour Postings: A Cross-Country Look
Analysis of job search behaviour on Workopolis shows that Canadians from Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and the Territories are the most likely to look for jobs outside their own province. People from Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba are the least likely.
When looking at the total number of jobs available in each province, the highest percentages of trades jobs exist in the prairies and in Newfoundland. These economies are largely resource based. Oil and potash reserves means there is consistent demand for skilled tradespeople, and an ongoing economic boom to fuel construction of new infrastructure and housing.
Overall, Ontario has an ample supply of opportunities for tradespeople, but the percentage of trades jobs is lower than other provinces, as the economy is more diversified.
Top 10 Growing Job Categories
It's not just the skilled trades that have seen an increase in demand. Workopolis has taken a closer look at online job postings for the past year to determine which fields are experiencing the most growth in hiring.
Positions showing healthy hiring climates run the gamut from health and arts and culture to management and hospitality workers.
The Top Ten:
Arts and culture
Sales and service
A closer examination of which jobs are most in demand and where the opportunities are located can potentially help Canadians make strategic employment choices in order to advance their career.
August 2013 Canadian Employment Predictions
We are expecting to see growth in the Canadian employment market in August 2013. This is the result of positive Canadian economic growth (the Ivey Purchasing Managers Index strong at 55.3 in July) and also the previous employment report being positive on a year over year basis. The Canadian/US exchange rate has weakened over the last 6 months and is the only model component not voting for growth. We are also seeing strength in the US as reflected by the ISM Purchasing Managers Index and the recent `return`s in the US stock market. Since our economies are closely linked, this is also positive for Canadian economic growth and the Canadian labour market.
WASHINGTON -- The past year hasn't been easy for organized labor. Union density dipped to a historic low of just 6.6 percent of the private sector. Michigan, the birthplace of United Auto Workers union, went right-to-work in a blur. And public-sector unions found themselves fending off more state-level legislative attacks designed to weaken them.
Taking stock of those challenges, Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO union federation, insists that the battles and setbacks have presented the labor movement with a chance to reinvent itself.
"We have to change the way we're doing business in a significant way to get out of the crisis we find ourselves in," Trumka told The Huffington Post in an interview. "But this crisis also offers us ample and tremendous opportunity. That's what we're trying to do."
Trumka's prognosis comes a few weeks ahead of the AFL-CIO's quadrennial convention, the sort of confab that's ripe for self-analysis and reflection, particularly for a movement that's been on the ropes. The labor leader said the AFL-CIO is moving to build permanent relationships with progressive allies in the immigration, civil rights and environmental movements. The convention itself will offer a reflection of that strategy, Trumka said, including a speech from progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), which the senator's office confirmed to HuffPost.
HERE is a symbol of China’s assault on the American economy: the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which connects Brooklyn and Staten Island. This landmark, which opened in 1964, is North America’s longest suspension bridge. It’s also in urgent need of renovation. Unfortunately, $34 million in steel production and fabrication work has been outsourced to China.
How did this happen? The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says a Chinese fabricator was picked because the two American companies approached for the project lacked the manufacturing space, special equipment and financial capacity to do the job. But the United Steelworkers claims it quickly found two other American bridge fabricators, within 100 miles of New York City, that could do the job.
The real problem with this deal is that it doesn’t take into account all of the additional costs that buying “Made in China” brings to the American table. In fact, this failure to consider all costs is the same problem we as consumers face every time we choose a Chinese-made product on price alone — a price that is invariably cheaper.
Consider the safety issue: a scary one, indeed, because China has a very well-deserved reputation for producing inferior and often dangerous products. Such products are as diverse as lead-filled toys, sulfurous drywall, pet food spiked with melamine and heparin tainted with oversulfated chondroitin sulfate.
In the specific case of bridges, six have collapsed across China since July 2011. The official Xinhua news agency has acknowledged that shoddy construction and inferior building materials were contributing factors. There is also a cautionary tale much closer to home.
When California bought Chinese steel to renovate and expand the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, for a project that began in 2002, problems like faulty welds by a Chinese steel fabricator delayed the project for months and led to huge cost overruns. Those delays eroded much of the savings California was banking on when it opted for the “cheap” Chinese steel.
There is a second reason not to buy “Made in China” products: jobs. The abiding fact is that steel production is heavily subsidized by the Chinese government. These subsidies range from the massive benefits of a manipulated and undervalued currency to the underwriting of the costs of energy, land, loans and water.
Because of China’s subsidies — most of which are arguably illegal under international trade agreements — its producers are able to dump steel products into America at or below the actual cost of production. This problem is particularly acute now as China is saddled with massive overcapacity in its steel industry.
Of course, every job China gains by dumping steel into American markets is an American job lost. Each steelworker’s job in America generates additional jobs in the economy, along with increased tax revenues. With over 20 million Americans now unable to find decent work, we could certainly use those jobs as we repair the Verrazano Bridge.
The M.T.A. has ignored not only the social costs but also the broader impact on the environment and human rights. Chinese steel plants emit significantly more pollution and greenhouse gases per ton of steel produced than plants in the United States. This not only contributes to global warming but also has a direct negative impact on American soil, since an increasing amount of China’s pollution is crossing the Pacific Ocean on the jet stream.
Finally, when American companies and government agencies opt for Chinese over American steel, they are tacitly supporting an authoritarian regime that prohibits independent labor unions from organizing — one of many grim ironies in today’s People’s Republic. As a result, American workers are forced to compete against Chinese workers who regularly work 12-hour days, six or seven days a week, without adequate safety gear. Both Chinese and American steelworkers wind up as victims.
The bottom line here is this: Buying “Made in China” — whether steel for our bridges or dolls for our children — entails large costs that most consumers and, sadly, even our leaders don’t consider when making purchases. This is hurting our country — and killing our economy.
Demand is high – and growing – for auto technicians
Like so many other skilled trades fields these days, automotive technicians are in high demand -- and there's a talent gap between jobs posted and available workers to fill them.
In Southeast Michigan, employers such as car dealerships and body shops have posted 777 open jobs in the first six months of this year, and this time last year were seeking more than 1,200 mechanics and technicians. That's according to data tracked by the Detroit-based Workforce Intelligence Network.
As is the case with industrial jobs like machining and welding, for at least a generation, parents have discouraged their children from entering the auto service world, pushing them toward white-collar jobs even though many technical degrees yield better salaries than many college degrees, said Tony Molla, vice president of communications for the Leesburg, Va.-based National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, which certifies technicians.
Demand will grow in the future; about half of all technicians will be eligible to retire within 15 years.
"If there is such a thing as job security, it's in the trades," said Molla, also noting that garages compete for mechanics not just with each other, but also the aerospace industry.
The mean annual salary for automotive technicians, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is about $39,000, and Molla said that's on the low side compared to industry numbers he's seen.
Al Lecz, director of employer strategies at WIN, said all nine community colleges in the Southeast Michigan Community College Consortium have automotive service training programs, withMacomb Community College's Center for Advanced Automotive Technology premier among them. The nine colleges in the consortium are Macomb, Mott Community College, Oakland Community College, St. Clair Community College, Wayne County Community College District, Henry Ford Community College, Monroe County Community College, Schoolcraft College and WashtenawCommunity College.
Other resources include the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation and NATEF-accredited schools; the Automotive Training Managers Council; and automotive manufacturers, which operate internal training programs. General Motors Co.'s is called theGeneral Motors Automotive Service Educational Program.
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