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Game on: JOBSITE mixes construction education with family fun night

Angela Gismondi
Game on: JOBSITE mixes construction education with family fun night
CONSTRUCTIONLAB INC. — The JOBSITE board game is a new way for youth and families to learn about the ICI and homebuilding construction industry together while having fun.

Picture this: a game that combines Monopoly, Pictionary and Jeopardy, but most importantly encourages parents to connect with their kids about careers in the trades while having fun at the same time.

That’s the main goal behind JOBSITE – The Board Game, which was developed by Derek Smith, senior facilitator and principal consultant at Constructionlab Ltd.

“It plays like all three games and then you have to build your bank account,” Smith explained. “The money that we sourced looks exactly like you are playing with Canadian money.”

“It comes with miniature heavy equipment pieces and those are what you use as your player pawns.”

Smith came up with the idea around the holiday season.

“I thought, how do I, as a father who has been in and around the construction industry all my life, how do I connect with my kids? How can I tell them what dad does and connect with them on a level that we can have some fun? We can learn a little bit and we can play, we can compete,” he said.

“Out of the blue, I don’t know how it happened, and I can’t tell you exactly when it happened, I woke up in the middle of the night and I said ‘a board game!’ That was the beginning of Jobsite.”

Within the first week of January he had designed the board for the ICI version, designed and sourced the box and the board from a manufacturer in Hong Kong.

“I developed all of the game pieces and all of the challenge cards and came up with the way the thing functions,” said Smith.

“It’s been tested. We’ve done a few modifications to it and we’re ready to go with the first orders.”

The game is designed for ages 12 and up and the ICI version includes categories Construction 101 with multiple choice questions; joint venture; acronyms; liquidated damages; invest and profit; tools and toys; low bid wins; supply chain problems; and cash advance.

In the homebuilding version, categories include Homebuilding 101; estimate; acronyms; attainable housing; build to suit; tools and toys; cash advance; land taxes; and net-zero.

“This game will introduce even somebody 12 or 13 years old into all sorts of different things and allow them to critically think their way through some challenges,” said Smith.

Industry associations, organizations and unions across Canada have been invited to order during a special pre-public launch period that runs until April 30.

Ideally Smith would like to see the game played at homes, in schools and association offices and events.

“I’d love to see association executives have a copy in their offices to play with their members. Maybe a game night to connect members again, that’s really what it’s about,” said Smith.

“We can do competitions at the construction association, we can do all sorts of things,” said Smith.

“It’s up to the associations how they want to use the game…I’ll leave it up to them to figure it out.”

This is a different way of getting the message about the viability of a career in the trades to youth.

“What have we been doing up to this point, we’ve been doing speeches, we’ve been handing out pamphlets and things like that when we want to connect with the high school kids,” he explained. 

“We keep hearing about needing to find strategies to engage and inform youth and transitioning adults, for the future of trades, professionals and the industry overall. This is a fun, and at the same time, an educational way for families, institutions and organizations to do just that.” 

The board game, which is the first of its kind in North America to focus on the industry, will be assembled and shipped from London, Ont. 

About 60 games a day or 300 a week can be produced.

A third design professionals version will be in production by May.

“Organizations ordering 50 or more units can imprint their logos and any customized artwork branding desired on the board and box,” Smith explained.

“Their association, organization, or union can be built into the game through customized landing squares and challenge cards informing and educating players about their organization and its purpose.”

For more information about the game visit

Follow the author on Twitter @DCN_Angela.

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