Skip to Content
View site list


Pre-Bid Projects

Pre-Bid Projects

Click here to see Canada’s most comprehensive listing of projects in conceptual and planning stages

Associations, Labour

CCA Talent Fits Here program highlights value of diversity

Don Wall
CCA Talent Fits Here program highlights value of diversity
PCL - PCL project co-ordinator Mike Murage, a native of Kenya, loves his career, finding it challenging and dynamic, and every day he’s learning something new.

Three years ago the Calgary-based Mike Murage was invited to participate in the CCA Talent Fits Here program by sharing the story of his journey from Nairobi to the engineering faculty at the University of Waterloo and then a stimulating career with PCL in Western Canada.

For the PCL project co-ordinator, who just over a decade ago was a teenager living in his native Kenya, his career with the construction firm is a godsend — nothing short of a miracle, is how he puts it.

Canadian Construction Association (CCA) president Mary Van Buren explained the program was developed to showcase careers in construction to young people of diverse backgrounds as deeply rewarding. Each year one or two new profiles is added, with 16 now on the site.

“I tried to show that the construction industry really is one that should be an attractive industry,” said Murage recently. “We need to get more people talking and knowing about it, and the opportunity available in it. It is able to cater to anyone regardless of age, background, or whatever demographic you are a part of.”

Van Buren explained, “It’s meant to be inspirational as well as to show the incredible work and pride that they have in their jobs. So it’s not just that they have an interesting and well-paying job.”


Building for Canadians

Workers employed on drinking water projects or LRT projects know they are bringing clean water to communities and reducing commute times, Van Buren cited as examples.

“Those are all things that people feel good about and for themselves and also for Canadians,” she said.

“This generation is very committed to being more environmentally aware and protecting the environment. So there’s a significant opportunity for Canadians to impact what our future infrastructure looks like in the greening of it.”

A focal point of the CCA Talent Fits Here program comes in the fall, when the association engages in paid media to highlight a new theme. Last fall it was focusing on educators and students of high school, early college and university age.

“We’ve had a huge impact. We’ve had something like 80 million views of the campaign,” said Van Buren.

The case for diversity has been proven over and over again, she said. Having diverse people at the table, reflecting different backgrounds, areas of expertise, age and experience, helps companies make better decisions.

“And if your company is making better decisions, then your company is going to be more successful,” said Van Buren.


A mutual respect regardless of background

Murage is now a Canadian citizen and has worked on a variety of commercial and civil projects, conducting quality and safety inspections and supervising subs, among many roles. He is only 29 but already he finds himself in the position of being sought out by fellow employees, including new Canadians, for advice about making progress in their field.

Murage said he has encountered barriers, mainly technical learning curves, as he has strived to achieve excellence for his employer — but racism is not one of them.

“In terms of myself not being Canadian or being born here, that really hasn’t been a challenge,” he said. “And I think that’s part of the gratitude that I have in that people have had a mutual respect regardless of background.

“I would like to put the caveat that this is my personal experience. I wouldn’t know if that’s everyone’s story. If someone else worked for a different company and unfortunately got to meet an individual who was not respectful, then yes, their story also needs to be told and addressed, but myself, I’ve been fortunate enough to not have any discrimination against me and I hope never do.”

Murage said he believes God has been good to him: “It doesn’t matter where you are or where you’re from, keep your head down, keep trusting God and be amazed at what happens.”

Follow the author on Twitter @DonWall_DCN.

Recent Comments

comments for this post are closed

You might also like