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AN INDUSTRY FOR ALL

The heavy construction industry has always drawn its workers from various groups within our communities. The Manitoba Heavy Construction Association’s Diversity tab provides members, managers, employees and future employees resources and information, aiming to assist with recruiting, hiring and retaining workers and making all workers, from all backgrounds, welcome. Take a look at our initiatives, to see what we’ve done and where we’re going.

DIVERSIFYING OUR WORKFORCE

Who works in heavy construction?
This diverse industry has something for everyone, whoever you are and whatever your skills, qualifications or interests. Our industry members are proud of their work in attracting people from all backgrounds.

There are numerous, well-developed resources, including on-line courses and seminars for employers, managers and employees on what diversity looks like, why it’s important to you and how we can all work to ensure successful implementation of respectful workplace policies.

EMPLOYERS/ MANAGERS

Workers

Future Workers

Resources for all

Messages

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE, YOUR CAREER IN HEAVY CONSTRUCTION AWAITS
This industry and this association are intent on providing jobs and careers to all. 

BUILDING ON OUR PAST, ON THE ROAD TO NEW POSSIBILITIES
The history of heavy civil construction and roadbuilding has been built, to a degree, on the work of diverse groups.

MOVING BEYOND STEREOTYPES – DIVERSITY IN HEAVY CONSTRUCTION
Did you see the recent story about pink porta-potties on British Columbia construction sites? I must admit, it raised an eyebrow or two. Really? Pink?

MHCA’S LEE WOODS NAMED VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR: TOURISM WINNIPEG
MHCA Marketing and Communications Coordinator Lee Woods is proud of their work to raise the profile of Pride Winnipeg.
View story

Do you have questions about the MHCA’s marketing materials and publications? Contact Lee Woods at lee@mhca.mb.ca

LATEST NEWS

MHCA initiatives

MHCA has been working with various industry and community partners to diversify recruitment and employment in the heavy construction industry.

Looking for work? Need to hire?

Click here to post your resume or a job position on the MHCA WORKSAFELY™ job board.

In the news

August 18, 2021

The MHCA, as part of the Manitoba Construction Sector Council, is involved in a number of initiatives to attract women and Indigenous people to the industry. The Manitoba government announced $600,000 grant in August, 2021, for a training program in four northern, Indigenous communities to help women enter the trades, including water and sewer heavy construction work. Listen to Cathy Cox, Minister for the Status of Women, talk about the opportunities here.

Province of Manitoba | News Releases (gov.mb.ca)

Manitoba funding trades training for Indigenous women

August 19, 2021

Sietta Marsden, 19, of Pinaymootang First Nation, says it can be intimidating for women to step into the industry, but the training course helped her overcome her initial reservations. Now she can be a role model for younger women considering construction as a career.

Manitoba funding trades training for Indigenous women (aptnnews.ca)

Indigenous women in Manitoba have a new opportunity to take trades training in their communities

August 19, 2021

Carol Paul, Executive Director of the MCSC, spoke to Sam Samson, from CBC Information Radio’s Up to Speed program, about the training initiative, challenges the construction industry faces in recruiting women and Indigenous people and why women should look to construction for good jobs and career opportunities.

Listen here

With equity far from reality in Manitoba's unemployment rates, construction and manufacturing sectors are targeting a "she-covery" strategy to move forward.

Faith Fundal is joined by two women who operate heavy construction companies. Nicole Chabot, owner of Chabot Enterprises Ltd, and Colleen Munro, President of Hugh Munro Group.

March 8, 2021
Listen now

Pandemic job losses impact more Manitoba women than men

Almost one year after the pandemic began, policy analysts say unemployment rates for Manitoba women are quickly outpacing rates for men.

March 8, 2021
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Leading family business into next generation

Colleen Munro pulls up to her office just off Wilkes Avenue in Winnipeg and gets ready for another day of business as owner and president of Hugh Munro Construction. Founded in 1959, Hugh Munro Construction provides excavation and heavy construction services for Manitoba, Ontario, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.

April 29, 2020
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Manitoba recognizes International Women’s Day with funding for career programs

Manitoba’s provincial government has announced funds geared toward propelling women into fields of work dominated by men, like construction and information technology.

March 8, 2021
Listen now

Manitoba tech, construction sectors get $50K to boost women in trades

The Manitoba government announced supports for programs that promote women in trades on Monday as part of International Women’s Day.

March 8, 2021
Read article

Pink portable toilets a signal of changing site attitudes?

It may not be the traditional welcome mat, but the pink portable toilet is becoming a sign of changing attitudes at construction sites as more women enter the job site.  

June 25, 2021
Read article

Interested in talking to someone about your future in heavy construction? Call Jackie Jones at 204-947-1379.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE, YOUR CAREER IN HEAVY CONSTRUCTION AWAITS

This industry and this association are intent on opening job and careers to all. As Chair of the MHCA Board of Directors, I welcome you to the MHCA new Diversity web resource. It’s starting small – highlighting some of the work that has been done to increase representation in our industry – with full intention of growing fast to provide members and potential workers resources that support recruitment and employment.

I grew up in the industry, working at the family business and chose a career with L. Chabot Enterprises, where I am now Vice-President. This was no easy or pre-ordained path, however. Step into heavy construction – it is an interesting, vibrant environment with multiple opportunities to find a niche, but it demands a commitment that rivals most other workplaces.

Its rewards, however, are immediately tangible. Good pay, meaningful work and wide-open career opportunities. I very much believe in “see it, be it.” I am not the first Indigenous woman to make this industry my home, but I recognize there are too few of “me” and too few from diverse communities working in heavy construction.

This is very much about seeing and being seen, because that’s a necessary element of successful recruitment and retention. This web resource is also about assisting our industry, our employers with their work to attract, welcome and retain employees from a greater diversity of groups and communities.

The heavy construction industry is open to you, however you may identify. We hope you’ll consider the opportunity to also describe yourself as a heavy construction worker.

Nicole Chabot, G.S.C.

Chair, Manitoba Heavy Construction Association
Director, Canada Construction Association
V-P, L. Chabot Ent.

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Building on our past, on the road to new possibilities

The history of heavy civil construction and roadbuilding has been built, to a degree, on the work of diverse groups.

Newcomers, in varying degrees, found ready employment in industry and construction. My family reflects that

Today, we welcome you to MHCA’s Diversity page, part of our accelerated effort to recruit workers from broader communities.

Heavy construction is an industry that offers good pay, benefits and meaningful work with high potential of advancement. And we want all people, from all communities to join, be a part of, advance in and help grow not just this industry, but through its work, our country.

While our industry has always pulled from immigrant and Indigenous communities, to varying degrees the industry does yet reflect a good measurement of diversity.

Statistics indicate women make up about 13% of the labour force in construction, generally, and 4% of those in trades.¹  Identity, in all its hues, is left to self-declaration, which means our industry hasn’t track ethnicity, race, gender or other attributes. We do know, however, there is real opportunity to increase representation from diverse groups. The MHCA is working to bring the reality of opportunity to the attention of diverse groups and the industry.

This section of the MHCA website is dedicated to providing resources to assist our members, industry and anyone with an interest in working in heavy construction.

The MHCA’s initiatives to date to recruit and train individuals from underrepresented groups – specifically women, youth and Indigenous people – are posted here. We do want you to regard these initiatives as good first efforts.

Take a look around. Contact us with your questions or suggestions. We welcome your comments. We welcome you.

Chris Lorenc, B.A., LL.B.,

Moving beyond stereotypes – diversity in heavy construction

Did you see the recent story about pink porta-potties on British Columbia construction sites? I must admit, it raised an eyebrow or two. Really? Pink?

Pink is such a tired metaphor. But I admit I think a porta-potty without a urinal is a welcome development.

We need to push past stereotypes. So, I am beyond happy to be part of a concerted effort to launch the Diversity resource on our MHCA website. So much potential and value in this initiative, which aims to move beyond the view that heavy construction is the domain of one gender and largely of one colour.

I am the MHCA Diversity Advisor. My position reflects the fact the MHCA and its WORKSAFELY™ team are doing more work to diversify the heavy construction labour force. And we wanted a spot to showcase that work, to assist our members and to show those interested in seeking jobs and building careers that we welcome you. And our Board agrees.

I want to be your contact for any questions or suggestions regarding diversity and the heavy construction industry.

The MHCA will be posting the work we have and continue to do to generate interest in heavy construction among non-traditional labour groups, including young people (click here). For example, our high-school ‘introduction to heavy construction’ program with the Seven Oaks School Division begins in September and I anticipate it will find its way into many more educational settings.

The fact is heavy construction employers are facing labour and skill shortages, much as is construction generally. We need you to take an interest in this industry. Our employers need to ensure they offer a welcoming environment, capable of training new recruits.

A lot of the material you will find on these pages intends to inform, to educate and to start a discussion.

That is where you and I come in.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with your questions, queries and suggestions at 204-947-1379 or jackie@mhca.mb.ca

Jackie Jones, CAE
Education and Diversity Programs Advisor, MHCA & WORKSAFELY™

 

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