July 16, 2012
Construction associations give back to the community
Spinal Cord Injury B.C.
Part of the reality of operating a business today, including one in the construction industry, is that all aspects of how it operates are scrutinized and held up to the harsh light of judgment by the wider community.
In order to become a member in good standing of the community and its many stakeholders, companies need to earn and maintain what is called a social license.
Individual companies have become adept at this form of self-regulation, which is also called corporate social responsibility (CSR).
CSR has also spread to industry associations that represent the interests of individual companies to the general public, government and other industries.
For example, Vancouver Regional Construction Association president Keith Sashaw said his organization has a long history of community involvement.
The association’s charity of choice is Spinal Cord Injury B.C., which was formerly the B.C. Paraplegic Association.
“Construction can be dangerous and sometimes there are spinal cord injuries,” Sashaw said.
In addition, the VRCA U40 Network is involved in the KidStart Mentoring Program.
“Young construction industry professionals mentor and provide role models to school-age children, who might be at risk,” he said.
During the 2010 Winter Olympics, the VRCA worked with Building Opportunities with Business (BOB), a non-profit organization that undertook revitalization projects in Vancouver’s downtown east side (DTES).
The VRCA put more than 100 DTES residents through a six-week training program to get a job in the construction industry.
“They worked on the Olympic Village,” Sashaw said.
“And when the Olympics were over, many of them have stayed in construction.”
The VRCA performs its good works, Sashaw said, because it’s the right thing to do.
“Our industry has a long-standing tradition of giving back to the community,” he added.
Like the VRCA, the Vancouver Island Construction Association is involved in many community programs.
VICA CEO Greg Baynton said the association has been doing some form of good works since at least the 1980s.
VICA’s Backpacks for Kids program gives new backpacks at the start of the school year to school children who need them.
In 2011, the association gave out 100 packs.
The 2011 VICA Annual Christmas Luncheon, to which 300 local children were invited, raised more than $8,000 for needy families.
In the same year, the association raised more than $10,000 for the Victoria Prostate Centre.
VICA’s Young Construction Leaders’ Network recently took part in a community project for the Garth Homer Society, which helps adults with developmental disabilities to become more independent.
Seven VICA members took part in the project, which is valued at more than $60,000.
The work included installation and repair work at the society’s headquarters in Victoria.
Further north, the Williams Lake Construction Association (WLCA) raises money for a variety of good causes, including local sports teams, construction bursaries and trades training.
“Groups or individuals that normally are recipients of our works are local, young carpenter apprentices or elementary and high school sports teams,” said WLCA president Sue Zacharias.
The association partners with Thompson Rivers University-Williams Lake Campus and School District #27 to help fund the Residential Construction Program every two years.
“We are now on our seventh program and seventh house,” Zacharias said.
The program trains first-year carpenter apprentices to build a house from the ground up.
Between 12 and 14 apprentices take part in the nine month-course. <0x000A> The WLCA buys the lot for the house and helps to finance the construction loan, until the project is completed and the house is sold.
“The benefits are endless, both emotionally and physically, to see young people become involved in a very rewarding trade,” Zacharias said.
“We feel we are giving back to the community. We also get to experience a very rewarding relationship with the local education system.”
Rosalind Thorn, president of the Prince George Construction Association, said that most of the association’s charitable work is with seniors, who are often overlooked.
“We create funds that can be drawn upon by seniors, such as a dental fund,” she said.
“There’s also an assistive devices fund, for such items as grab bars.”
Some of the goods-works money raised by the association goes to such organizations as the Salvation Army and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
PGCA’s annual Heavy Metal Rocks program is an introduction to the construction industry for high school students.
The local construction industry makes donations worth $500,000 to the program in the form of heavy equipment, fuel and food.
The 32 students, who are selected for the construction trades program receive an introduction to 16 different pieces of heavy equipment over four days.
“It’s one more way we can give back to our community,” Thorn said.
HEAVY METAL ROCKS
|MOST POPULAR STORIES|
|TODAY’S TOP CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS|
These projects have been selected from 470 projects with a total value of $6,376,918,947 that Reed Construction Data Building Reports reported on Wednesday.
$100,000,000 Provost AB Prebid
$44,300,000 Red Deer AB Prebid
$34,000,000 Langley, Dist Mun BC Negotiated
- Construction Site Arson
- VIDEO: Journal of Commerce Update for the week of May 27th, 2013
- Historic church renovation reaches new heights
- Hiring of foreign workers for hospital project outrages union
- Acetylene torch explosion causes significant damage
- Festival of Architecture hits Halifax
- Winnipeg Southwest Transitway wins award
- Vendor performance is key measurement
- NDP leader spoke to police about corruption
- Big contract down under for ATCO Structures
- RFQ issued for Kamloops hospital project
- VIDEO: Economic Update May 21, 2013
- Prompt payment bill headed to committee
- Final Phase
- A return to core values a must for banks: Carney
- OHMPA on the road with informative seminars
- Local 675 strike ends after new agreement ratified
- NDP says it will support Liberal budget, averting spring election
- Measure of U.S. economy’s future health rises 0.6 per cent in April after March dip
- Terratec awarded Brighton, Ont. Lagoon Clean-Out Project contract
- Fundraising campaign to reach target for new Shriners Hospital for Children
- George Brown College building named after Tridel CEO
|ALEX’S ECONOMICS BLOG|
Reed Construction Data Canada’s Chief Economist Alex Carrick discusses current developments in the North American economic environment with emphasis on the construction industry.
- An Overview of Prices and Sales in the Diverging U.S. and Canadian Housing Markets (April 25, 2013)
- Canada’s Precarious Dependence on the Commodity Price Super-Cycle (April 22, 2013)
- Twenty major upcoming residential and transportation terminal construction projects - April 2013 (April 15, 2013)