Written by David Bedini, Program Lead, Construction and Property Maintenance

Construction Program

Image: Construction and Building Maintenance Program trainees assisting with Habitat for Humanity build project (March 18)

There’s a construction zone everywhere you turn in the Greater Toronto Area. Some associate that with hassle and blockages, but I view it as an incredible opportunity for youth to help build our communities.

According to 2015 Canadian Apprenticeship Forum and Skills Canada data, an estimated 319,000 new workers will need to be recruited for the national construction industry to address expansion and replacement demands. This means that a career in the trades can be a great choice for young people, especially with the current youth unemployment and underemployment rates.

Construction Program

Image: youth trainees in class

Eva’s Construction and Building Maintenance Program strives to help young people who’ve experienced homelessness find employment in construction. We provide a complete and hands-on training program and connect youth with internships with employers in the trades. It’s highly successful—more than 90% of our trainees get a job placement and over 50% get a long-term job in the trades.

A unique aspect of the program is that we teach the “hard skills” like framing, drywall, painting and electrical, but also support youth with workshop training in life skills they can access to succeed in any future employment. These include professional etiquette, time management, and conflict resolution. I’ve been in the construction industry for years and I know these “soft skills” make as much of a difference in your ability to thrive as anything else.

Construction program

Image: youth trainees in class

I always tell my students that my work isn’t done until they’re employed. We prioritize being there for our trainees in their learning and whatever stage they’re at in their life journeys. Through the experience of learning valuable skills, my goal is to help them understand that they’re more amazing than they know … and it’s a thrill to be there when that realization sparks inside of them too.

Construction Program

Image: trainee assisting with Habitat for Humanity build project (March 18)

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