Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) says it has signed the declaration to join Workforce 2030, a new coalition with the Canada Green Buildings Council (CaGBC) and other construction stakeholders advocating for fast-tracking the workforce needed to build a low-carbon Ontario.
Buildings can significantly contribute to Canada’s efforts to reduce carbon, as they account for almost 30 per cent of the country’s greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions when including operations, construction, and materials. According to CaGBC research, government investment in a green recovery that prioritizes green building combined with progressive policy leadership could, by 2030, lead to over 600,000 direct green building jobs in Ontario and 1.5 million jobs nationally.
The OGCA has long been campaigning for an increased focus on the trades as a viable career and the skills gap, the association says in a statement. “Now, as governments look to stimulus investments in infrastructure as a vehicle for economic recovery, there is an opportunity to support Ontario’s workforce to ensure that general contractors can meet Canada’s climate goal, create jobs and build the infrastructure of the future,” the statement says.
Workforce 2030 and the OGCA share a very similar goal, the OGCA says. “Both are focused on accelerating workforce capacity by impacting government policy, business practices and education. The building industry has always been a cornerstone of innovation and economic stimulus. We are in full support of Workforce 2030’s aim to mobilize shovel-worthy projects such as building retrofits and new low-carbon construction.”
“At the end of the day, construction jobs are green jobs,” said OGCA president Giovanni Cautillo.“We want to ensure that we are prepared to meet the future demands of the construction market for environmentally-friendly buildings. An investment in green buildings will create jobs in demand for years to come as Canada transitions toward a low-carbon economy. OGCA members already deliver complex retrofits, and Workforce 2030 will benefit from our expertise.”
“The building industry is a proven cornerstone of economic recovery and job creation,” said ” Jeff Ranson, the CaGBC’s regional director, Greater Toronto/Hamilton Area. “Smart stimulus spending that targets green building jobs will also help transition Ontario to a low carbon economy. The building sector is committed, as demonstrated by the OGCA’s commitment to Workforce 2030.
“As the voice of Ontario’s general contractors, they recognize the critical importance of strengthening workforce capacity, as their members will be on the front line of the necessary green building and retrofitting work to come in this critical decade of climate action,” he said in the statement.
Workforce 2030’s foundational partners include 14 other construction stakeholders representing employers, organized labour and training.