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Workers looking to cash in on Cape Breton’s construction boom are being encouraged to take part in a series of upcoming virtual information sessions.
The Building Construction Careers in Cape Breton is a collaborative initiative of the Cape Breton Partnership and the Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council inspired by the coinciding number of major construction projects in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.
Construction is already underway on the Sydney waterfront where the province is relocating the Nova Scotia Community College’s Marconi Campus that presently sits adjacent to Cape Breton University on the Sydney-Glace Bay Highway. The new $18-million facility is expected to be ready for a fall 2024 opening.
There’s also plenty of future employment on a number of Nova Scotia Health Authority projects across the CBRM, including a major expansion of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney. The expansion of the facility’s cancer centre, emergency department and critical care unit is expected to cost more than $100 million. And, with both the North Sydney General Hospital and the New Waterford Consolidated Hospital slated to be replaced with community health centres, there will also be plenty of construction in the two former towns. The New Waterford project will also include the building of a new school on the site of the present Breton Education Centre.
Cape Breton Partnership president and chief executive officer Carla Arsenault said it’s imperative that members of the local workforce are aware of the job opportunities associated with the slate of big projects.
“These construction projects in the next five to seven years are unprecedented for Cape Breton, so we want to make sure that the public is aware of those opportunities and that we do everything that we can to ensure that a maximum economic benefit stays here in our region,” said Arsenault.
“These information sessions are geared for any individual who is interested in a construction industry career in Cape Breton. So, it doesn’t matter whether they are new to the industry or have experience in the industry locally or have experience in a different trade locally and enter a new one or if they want to return to Cape Breton with the experience they received elsewhere, so if they are living away and were looking for an opportunity to come home then this is the chance.”
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council executive director Trent Soholt said the sessions will help bridge the communication gap between employers and prospective employees through increased information and awareness.
“It’s often challenging for job seekers to see how they fit into projects of this scale and these sessions aim to provide a forum for discussion so that individuals and communities are in the best possible position to make decisions about their employment prospects,” said Soholt.
Two sessions are already scheduled for this month and followups are planned for the future.
An introduction session (Part 1) will take place on Thursday, March 11 from 6-8 p.m. It will include an overview of the upcoming infrastructure projects for job-seekers and information for those who have no construction, trades or apprenticeship experience.
The second session (Part 2) offers up help on training and employment opportunities in the construction industry specific to Cape Breton projects. The session will be held Tuesday, March 23 from 6-8 p.m. and is open to all who attended the first session and to work-ready individuals and job-seekers who may or may not already work in the trades or already have experience with apprenticeship.
Job-seekers interested in the upcoming sessions must register by visiting http://bit.ly/build-CB-careers or by calling 902-943-6740 (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
David Jala is a business reporter at the Cape Breton Post.
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