Level 3 Apprentices Take on New Industrial Training Facility

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After Several months of waiting for all of our equipment and facilities to pass final inspection, the Finishing Trades Institute of BC finally got to let our Level 3 apprentices train on the latest Industrial Painting equipment in the industry. Although the permitting and approval process seemed to go on for ever, the consensus from our Level 3 apprentices was that the wait was well worth it.

Many of these apprentices hadn’t even seen a Pleural Pump in action, let alone actually get to use one. Because of the cost of the Pleural Component Pump and the special skills required to operate this highly specialized piece equipment, apprentices are rarely, if ever, afforded the opportunity to operate one. Requiring three people to operate, this specialized spray device requires all parties operating as one in perfect synchronization.

After receiving expert instruction in one of the most up-to-date facilities in all of North America, all of our apprentices started to develop the necessary skills required in order to become proficient in the proper use, care and maintenance of this highly technical machine.

Given the lessons learned by our instructors in running this first group through training, we are even better prepared to introduce our facility and equipment to the next set of apprentices or Journeymen looking to incorporate this type of training into their resume. These individuals will be highly sought after as more and more contractors start to include Pleural Component Spray Pumps into their arsenal of equipment in an effort to secure even more work for our members.


Squamish Nation Training and Trades Centre Explores Training Partnership with FTI of BC

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Three weeks ago, the FTI began running an introductory Wall & Ceiling program for students from the Squamish Nation Training and Training Centre. Thanks to the assistance of Peter Baker, Development & Partnership Employment Negotiator for the Squamish Nation and the rest of his team from the Centre, we have had a good cohort of students participate in this training with some very positive feedback.

When Peter Baker was here last week to meet with Advanced Education, Skills and Training, Minister Melanie Mark, Peter had a chance to observe our Level 2 Glazing Apprenticeship class in action. Peter was so impressed with what he saw that he asked us if it would be possible to run an entry level Glazing program, similar to what we were delivering with our Wall & Ceiling course.

Within a relatively short period of time we put a proposal forward that incorporates many aspects of our Level 1 Red Seal Apprentice Glazier training that we currently run at our facility. When we discussed this idea with our Glazing Coordinator and Head Instructor, Mark Longmore, we felt that there was enough variety in this Level that could be delivered in a condensed four week course and still give students a pretty good representation of what the trade is about.

We see these types of introductory programs as very beneficial in introducing the basics of the trade along with developing a foundation in certain transferable skills. We also feel the best way to decide if a trade is for you, is to immerse yourself in the work that is typically performed in that particular craft. Even if you decide to head down a different career path, the time spent in these programs can provide you with a good jumping off point into a similar field.

Although we have not as yet received the go ahead for this proposal, we are confident that the outline we have provided will be seen as something that has good value and would be beneficial to any student who is interested in becoming a Glazier.  We will continue to work with our friends from the Squamish Nation looking for new innovative avenues into the Finishing Trades for young people from Indigenous communities around our Province.

Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Visits the FTI of BC

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Last week the Finishing Trades Institute of BC had the privilege of hosting, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, Melanie Mark, as she and some of her support staff toured our facility. Minister Mark also happens to be the first ever woman elected to the BC Provincial Government from a First nations Background.

This is worthy of note due to the fact that the FTI of BC has recently entered into a partnership with the Squamish Nation Trades Training Facility to deliver a foundation program in the Wall and Ceiling trades and First nation students enrolled in this program were in class on the day of the tour. Minister Mark was able to meet with these students and get their feedback as to their experience at our school, which we are happy to report, was very positive.

The Minister admitted that her background isn’t in construction and that the learning curve for her will be steep, which is why she wanted to see for herself some of what goes into our apprenticeship training programs. However, after her tour and subsequent meeting with other Building Trades Coordinators she at least had a starting point from where she could start that learning curve from.

We have every confidence that the Minister will be a quick learner and given her passion and genuine interest in what we at the Finishing Trades do, we are confident that she will be using the FTI and all of the Building Trades as a valuable resource in her endeavour to assist us in developing superior trades people.

Minister, Melanie Mark, centre, poses with students from the Squamish First Nation at the FTI of BC.

Glazing Instructor, Mark Longmore addresses guests of the FTI of BC

DC 38 Raises Funds for Research into Juvenile Diabetes

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Business Manager Dave Holmes A.K.A. Wayne Campbell and DOT Paddy Byrne A.K.A. Garth Algar


At the recent CLRA golf tournament, Business Manager, Dave Holmes, and Director of Training, Paddy Byrne, assumed their alter-identities as Garth Algar and Wayne Campbell from, Wayne’s World, in order to raise funds for research into Juvenile Diabetes at UBC.

On a hot and sunny day which was perfect for golf, but less so to suit up in pads for hockey, Dave and Paddy asked golfers to take a turn matching their hockey skills against the formidable goal tending of Garth Algar.  Each golfer, for the cost of $10.00, had three chances to beat Garth and be entered into a Draw for a Brand New iPhone and Apple Watch. There was also a last place prize, dinner with Paddy and Dave!

At the end of the day $1,400.00 was raised, and apart from the numerous welts from hockey balls, (Garth wasn’t wearing upper body pads because of the heat) everyone seemed to enjoy the antics of our hockey playing heroes. Only 3 of the approximately 140 golfers were able to put all 3 of their shots behind Garth and he has the bruises to prove it.

Thanks to everyone at CLR for putting on a great tournament and special thanks to the Vancouver Golf Club for allowing us to put on this event at such a pristine golf course.


NABOC Osoyoos 2017

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Ray Natraoro makes pitch to NABOC on behalf of Stalkaya Environmental


At the recent NABOC Conference held June 27 to 29th in Osoyoos, our newest Hazardous Materials Abatement Contractor, Stalkaya Environmental, made its latest pitch to First Nations business representatives with regard to it’s services as a Hazardous Materials Contractor, and as a conduit to opportunities for apprenticeship for Aboriginal workers through DC 38 and the FTI of BC.

NABOC or the National Aboriginal Business Opportunities Conference, meets around the province of British Columbia in various communities in an effort to highlight and promote Aboriginal Business and opportunities for the public at large to become more aware of the great work being done by business people from First Nations communities.

Stayalka Environmental is a joint venture arrangement where Enviro-Vac Environmental has entered into a partnership with majority shareholder Ray Natraoro, who is from the Squamish First Nation. Ray was able to make a pitch, on behalf of Stalkaya, to over 200 business representatives from the Aboriginal community as well as others from a wide variety of backgrounds from all across Canada. Ray made the case that young people working for his company not only had the opportunity to make a good living with union wages and benefites as Hazmat Workers, but also had opportunities through Stalkaya’s partnership with our union, to receive Red Seal apprenticeship training in one of our 4 finishing trades, if they chose to go that route.

There were several impressive presentations made at the NABOC and Stalkaya’s story, as told by Ray, resonated as impressively as those who had already been in business for years. This was a great opportunity to network and bee seen and Stalkaya made a great first impression at the Conference.

Delegates to NABOC Osoyoos 2017 listen to a presentation from Stalkaya Environmental

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!