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CCA aims to attract next generation with Talent Fits Here campaign

Angela Gismondi
CCA aims to attract next generation with Talent Fits Here campaign

Talent Fits Here, launched recently by the Canadian Construction Association (CCA), is a national public awareness campaign designed to help shift traditional perceptions around construction careers.

“People don’t often think of construction as their first choice,” said CCA president Mary Van Buren. “Most of us when we see construction, it’s the people on the roads or up in the buildings, but you don’t see the breadth and depth of what the industry does.”

The campaign goes hand-in-hand with the need for investment in infrastructure.

“We know that infrastructure investment is trade enabling, it creates really well-paying jobs and it builds our communities. Now, with COVID and so many workers being displaced from other industries, it’s a great time for them to consider a career in construction,” Van Buren said.

Talent Fits Here focuses on social media such as Facebook and Instagram to get the message out, as well as a website that showcases people in the industry sharing their stories and experiences.

“We wanted to profile the very exciting and different career paths people have taken,” said Van Buren. “We’ve got some people who are on the innovation side. We’ve got people in the skilled trades. We’ve got women. The other interesting thing about some of the stories is how much they mentor others in the industry.

“It invites people to connect to our local construction associations to help get started in a career or if they’re an employer to speak to the local construction association about connecting workers to the employers,” she added.

Part of the campaign’s message is the variety of people and roles in the industry.

“Of course we are looking for skilled workers like our carpenters and electricians, but we also need to attract science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduates because there is a lot of work being done in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, data analytics,” said Van Buren.

The campaign is part of a larger plan to attract underrepresented groups to the industry, which has been in the works for several years.

“We formed a committee to look at how can we address some of this and also address diversity in the industry,” said Van Buren. “We came out with three initiatives. One was a Business Case for Diversity, which is published on our site; the second was a Youth Outreach Tool Kit targeted at Grade 10s; and the third was a campaign to position construction as a career of choice.”

Although it was planned prior to the pandemic, the campaign is even more timely as the industry is positioned to absorb some of those who have been displaced from harder-hit sectors, Van Buren explained.

“Hospitality has been hard hit, tourism has been hard hit. If they’re thinking about a new career path, we’re trying to position construction as something of possible of interest to them,” she said. “We’re going to be in a fierce war for talent because other sectors are recruiting as well. We are looking at extending the campaign next year and we are looking at other ways that we can partner to amplify the message further,” she added.

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Follow the author on Twitter @DCN_Angela.

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