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Representatives from the Squamish First Nation Tour the FTI

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This week, the Finishing Trades Institute of BC, welcomed representatives from the Squamish First Nation, looking at ways our two organizations can work closer together. Amongst those in attendance were Peter Baker, who heads up the Squamish Nation Trades Training Centre, as well as Ray Natraoro, President and Director of Business Development for Stalkaya Environmental, one our newest hazardous materials abatement contractors.

In addition to being the majority partner in Stalkaya Environmental, Ray is also one of the hereditary chiefs of the Squamish Nation, where he is known as Ses Siyam.  Stalkaya is the first majority owned First Nations environmental company in the province, which is a great achievement.

Our partnership with Stalkaya and their partner company, Enviro-Vac environmental, was a major driver in having the FTI look at ways to partner with the Squamish Nation Trades Training Centre. However, we have also been working with one of our signatory painting contractors, Done Right Painting, and the owner, Troy Halverson, in developing an introductory painting course that Troy is helping to deliver at the  Squamish Nation Trades Training Centre.

FTI painting instructor and coordinator, Chico Albino, assisted Troy with the development of course materials for this pilot program and according to the feedback we are getting, it has been well received. Director of Training, Paddy Byrne, visited the Squamish Nation Trades Training Centre the previous week and remarked on how impressed he was with the quality of the Squamish facility and with what they had been able to accomplish within their current space. There are plans for an expansion of the facility in the works.

FTI Director of Training, Paddy Byrne and Peter Baker of the Squamish Nation Trades Training Centre, both see the possibility of our two facilities creating a path where First Nations people from across the Lower mainland, could successfully enter one of the Finishing Trades and achieve Red Seal status in their chosen craft. This would also be very beneficial to those contractors signatory to District Council 38 as we are constantly looking for energetic young people eager to make a good living and provide a better life for their families. This could truly be the beginning of a mutually beneficial partnership where all parties need are met.


Building Trades Attend the Canadian Legislative Conference

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The week of May 14 was an important one for Unionized construction workers from across Canada, as the Legislative Conference of the Canadian Building Trades was back in Ottawa for our annual opportunity to lobby on behalf of our members. Meetings were held with representatives from the New Democratic, Conservative and the governing Liberal Parties, in an effort to advance the interests of Union Trades workers from all of the construction crafts.

However, probably the most significant piece of business that was conducted during this conference was the unveiling of a brand new Monument on Parliament Hill. This monument is dedicated solely to Union construction Trades workers, in recognition of our all of our contributions to the growth of our communities, not just as builders of buildings and infrastructure, but as an integral part of the fabric of Canada itself.

We were especially pleased to have the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, on hand to help with the official opening of the monument. The Prime Minister spoke at length about the value the 500,000 members of the Canadian Building Trades bring to the lives of all Canadians. It was refreshing to hear our Prime Minister speak without hesitation about his respect for Union construction workers and the integrity of the apprenticeship programs that we oversee.

To give you a sense of just how important this occasion was, most of the General Presidents of the major North American Building Trades Unions also attended this event. The monument is the first in all of North America dedicated specifically to Union Building Trades and the General Presidents wanted to be in attendance on such a momentous occasion.

Mentorship Video Unveiled at National Building Trades Event

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Last month we posted a story about members of District Council 38 participating in a National Building Trades campaign to heighten awareness about the importance of mentoring apprentices. At last weeks Canadian Building Trades Legislative Conference, the finished product was unveiled to everyone in attendance.

The video was so well received that a couple of follow up features will be added to the campaign using DC 38 members once again. Click on the link and check out the video below. We believe that you will be genuinely impressed with the passion of the “Mentors” and the gratitude of the “Mentees” on display for all to see.

FTI Attends Delta Schools Trade Fair

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It was hard to tell who was having more fun, the kids or the DC 38 Reps and FTI Instructors!

Unquestionably though, a good time was had by all, as the FTI brought along some of the specialized equipment used in our apprenticeship programs, to the Delta Schools Trade Fair. Kids from all over the Delta school district, from grades seven to twelve were literally brought in by the bus load to attend this year’s event.

One of the things we here at the FTI as well as District Council 38 have long recognized, is that we need to heighten awareness about the value both of our organizations bring to the greater community. Thankfully interest in all of the trades seems to be on the rise and many educational organizations are starting to pay attention to the construction trades.

Many parents who visited our display booth expressed their gratitude for our reintroducing today’s youth to the value attached to an apprenticeship leading to a Red Seal certificate. Several openly acknowledged that the good wages and benefits that come with a career as a unionized tradesperson had them pushing their kids towards a career in construction.

As many of our older tradesmen start the move toward retirement, there is a looming demand for more young people to take up an apprenticeship. The timing for many of the Delta school kids couldn’t be better as there will continue to be a need for more skilled tradespeople and those good paying jobs  in the coming decades.



F.T.I. attends Delta Trades Career Fair

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Join us tomorrow at the, Delta Trades Career Fair, at the Sungod Recreation Centre.

The FTI will be on hand to introduce High School students and their parents to our four apprenticeable Finishing Trades. We will have our Red Seal Instructors on hand, along with the District Council 38 Union Representatives to answer any questions students or their parents may have about an exciting and rewarding career in the Finishing Trades. From Painting and Decorating, to Glass and Metal Work, to Wall and Ceiling Instalation and Drywall Finishing, we have the experts on hand to put you on a prosperous career path in the Finishing Trades.

The fair runs from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm and we will also have our Health and Safety expert, Andrew Swan, available to address any safety concerns you may have about a career in the Finishing Trades.

Hope to see you there!


Mentorship in Action

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One of the new buzz words you may be hearing lately is “Mentorship”. Although mentorship may be something you are hearing for the first time, it’s been around since the very beginnings of apprenticeship.

Mentorship is the very essence of what we do when we train apprentices. Long before there were trade schools or formalized apprenticeship programs, Master Craftsmen, mentored young people under their care, who were looking to learn a trade. Although this may come as second nature to some Journeyworkers, passing on knowledge can sometimes be challenging.

This is why SkillPlan, in partnership with the IBEW’s Electrical Joint Training Committee, embarked on a new initiative to train Journeyworkers, or Mentors, how to teach and apprentices, or Mentees, how to learn. Through this collaborative process, a new program called “Mentorship Matters” has been developed in order to institute a proven structure that really does help both the Journeyworker and the apprentice work cooperatively toward making each other better rounded tradespeople.

The FTI was asked to participate in developing some of the instructional videos that make up the two 3.5 hour courses that have been developed for both the Mentor and the Mentee. If you click on the attached video, you will see our Painting Co-ordinator/Instructor, Chico Albino, demonstrating the six elements of Mentorship to a Mentee/ apprentice.

The FTI is evaluating the possibility of introducing this program to our Apprentices and Journeypersons as a possible add-on to the apprenticeship classes we deliver here.


FTI Partners with Done Right Painting for Squamish Nation Training Fair

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When, Troy Halverson, owner of Done Right Painting and Sandblasting, asked the FTI to assist with a Training Fair for the Squamish Nation, we jumped into action and helped set up an impressive display booth on short notice. Although space was limited, we were able to provide Done Right with an array of eye catching displays and the right personnel to answer any painting or safety questions that members of the Squamish Nation might have.

Troy, and his Company, have been working with young people from the Squamish Nation, in an effort to introduce them to the fundamentals of the Painting Trade. The Training Fair was the perfect opportunity to introduce even more people to the value of a career as a Red Seal Painter. Safety is always at the forefront in all training we deliver at the FTI, which is why we felt that it was important that our Director of Safety, Andrew Swan, attended as well.

The FTI along with DC 38 is serious about exposing as many young people from as wide a community as possible to the Finishing Trades. Between “Lunch and Learns” with Government MLA’s, “Construction 101’s” with First nations groups and Trade fairs for high school students, we are starting to get our message out about the value of apprenticeship and getting certified in a trade.

(Left to Right) Randy Tilley/Doneright Painting, Chico Albino/FTI, Paddy Byrne/FTI, Justin Chapman/FTI, Andrew Swan/FTI

Members of Squamish Nation, introduce Training Fair attendees to a recognition ceremony.

FTI/Doneright booth at Squamish Nation Training Fair

Representatives of the FTI partner with Doneright Painting for Training fair at Chief Mathais Centre on Squamish Nation Territory.

Hazardous Materials Association Benefits Through Expansion of FTI Industrial Facility

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On Thursday March 30, 2017, the latest expansion of the FTI was unveiled with plenty of pomp and ceremony. Members of the Provincial Government and the Official Opposition were on hand for this latest unveiling and by all accounts they were very impressed with the new building.

Along with the existing HMA classroom, offices and boardroom, the new building boasts over 14,000 square feet of training space. Included in this expansion is a dedicated area to be specifically used for mock-ups exclusive to hazardous materials abatement training.

Asbestos, and its safe removal, is finally getting the attention it deserves with recent public interest in local media reports about unscrupulous contractors exposing both workers, and the community at large, to deadly asbestos fibres through shoddy work practices. The Federal asbestos ban, the recent resolution at the UBCM with regard to contractor licensing and worker certification and the provincial government’s announcement of a cross ministry working group on this subject, have started the wheels in motion towards stricter controls around the abatement of this dangerous mineral.

With these recent developments at all levels of government, now more than ever, the HMA needs to be at the forefront of the industry with regard to the anticipated legislative changes. The HMA’s expertise and continued lobbying at all levels is starting to pay off and as a result, the HMA will be providing valuable input into this process going forward.

Without the HMA’s continued dedication to providing our Contractors with properly trained workers and our Contractors dedication to safety, the HMA wouldn’t be in the position they currently occupy as the preeminent experts with regard to commercial asbestos abatement.  The facility upgrades have also played a significant role in raising awareness with our local politicians about the HMA’s work. Being able to see first hand what the HMA can do to ensure the proper training of abatement workers was a real eye opener for everyone in attendance at the grand opening.

The HMA will continue to turn out the best trained workers and will work with all of our Contractors to ensure that no more British Colombians are exposed to the dangers of asbestos.

FTI opens unique finishing trades training facility in Surrey; ‘nothing else like it in western Canada’

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Surrey, BC.  A 14,000 square foot addition to the Finishing Trades Institute of BC (FTI) was opened today to train BC workers in industrial painting, an essential skill in the construction of such projects as LNG export terminals, energy pipelines, and waste treatment plants.

The $4 million expansion was funded entirely by District Council 38 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades which represents more than 2,000 men and women working through BC as painters, glaziers, wall and ceiling installers, lathers and drywall finishers, hazardous materials abatement specialists, and water blasters.  The FTI now totals 40,000 square feet of customized shops and classroom space.

“We did not ask for taxpayer funding to make this investment, just as we did in establishing the FTI in 1992,” says Dave Holmes, Business Manager.  “We see it as a prudent, long-term investment in the future of construction in BC and in the future of our members and the union.  With this expansion the FTI can now accommodate 350 union and non-union students each year in four construction and finishing trades.  There is nothing like it in western Canada.”

“We and our contractors see a strong demand for skilled and experienced finishing tradespeople in BC and it is up to us to train workers to fill these jobs,” says Holmes.

“This expansion will house some of the latest industrial technology, providing BC tradespeople with relevant, modern training,” says Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation, and Citizen’s Services.  “Our province needs skilled tradespeople today and into the future;  I’d like to congratulate IUPAT District Council 38 and the Finishing Trades Institute of BC on this new addition, which will increase capacity for training.”

FTI instructors and courses provide Red Seal apprenticeship training in painting and decorating, glazing (fabrication and installation of windows and specialty glass), wall and ceiling construction, and drywall finishing.  The FTI also provides BC’s most advanced training in the safe removal and handling of asbestos and other hazardous materials in the commercial and residential sectors.

DC38 traces its roots to 1899 when six painters formed a BC local.

Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services, Amrik Virk, addresses guests at FTI Grand Opening

MLA for Shuswap, Greg Kyllo, congratulates DC 38 on new Industrial Facility

And what is a Grand Opening without a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony?

Business Manager David Holmes presents MLA Greg Kyllo and Minister Amrik Virk with DC 38 Union Jackets

A View from Above the new FTI Industrial Facility

Take a Sneak Peak at the New FTI Blast Tank in Action

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Check out our Video of Painting Instructor Chico Albino testing out our new Blast Tank.

Everything Looks like it will be ready for our Grand Opening on March 30th. Along with our new Blast Tank, we will be displaying our new Spray Booth and Pleural Component Paint System as well as our Hazardous Materials Abatement training facility.