Outreach Project to Promote Council Products
The Council has hired Lorraine Chambers for a two-year stint as coordinator of our new Outreach Project. Lorraine will meet with supply chain employers to look at how the Council's products – occupational standards, Career Focus wage subsidies, labour-market information and data, and HR tools and templates – could be put to use to address specific needs.
Career Focus Program: Find Out How Easy it is to Take Part
SCI Logistics in Kingston, Ont., signed on early as a participant in the Council's Career Focus Program. Here, the company shares information about its positive experience with the program.
- Tell us a bit about the position you have hired for.
A: The Operations Support Coordinator is responsible for the daily execution of processes in support of the timely and logical flow of goods in and out of the facility. This key role provides support to the Inventory Manager, and is actively engaged in daily planning sessions towards workload balancing and process execution.
- How did you find the application process?
A: The application process was very user friendly and straightforward. The detail in the package provided allowed for an expedient completion of each section.
- Was your application approved in a timely manner?
A: Absolutely, the application was submitted and approved on the same day.
- Could you tell me a bit about the positive impact hiring for this position has had in the Operations Department?
A: Ted’s role is critical to the continuity of the floor operations, as he bridges the gap between inbound and outbound operations, and he brings a lot of tech know-how to the floor.
- Would you sign on again if another hiring opportunity were to arise?
A: For my part, obviously there is value in a program like this for a small-to-medium-size operation like our own, and we would certainly look to this program for our SRs when we are ready to hire some full time.
- Have you benefited from similar government programs in the past? If so, how does this program compare with those?
A: Yes, I have benefited from similar government programs in the past and I find that this particular program is far advanced with reference to the paperwork, and the maintenance time required is minimal.
- How valuable is this program to your company?
A: Obviously, there is value in a program like this for a small-to-medium-size operation like our own, as it provides opportunity to hire where there might not otherwise be any.
- How valuable do you think this program might be to the supply chain sector, in general?
A: This program holds tremendous potential value to the supply chain sector due to, among other reasons, the tight margins inherent in the industry and the need to reduce staffing turnover due to a lack of available full-time positions.
To discover how easy it is to benefit from the Council's wage-subsidy program, contact Sheryl Keenan, at 905-897-6700, 1-866-616-3468 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Phase II Occupational Standards Project Needs You!
This project requires input from stakeholders across Canada in all relevant functional areas. To participate in the project working group or a focus group, get in touch with Dale Ross, at email@example.com
, 905-897-6700 or 1-866-616-3468.
If you're wondering how you might put the completed occupational standards to use in your organization – in identifying and planning for personnel requirements, designing and implementing recruitment and selection processes, writing job descriptions, developing and evaluating training programs or conducting performance reviews, for example – we can help you determine the answers. The Council's Heather MacNeil can help you assess your HR needs and show you how to pull information from the standards to create the solutions that meet your particular needs. Contact Heather at 905-897-6700 or 1-866-616-3468. Hear Heather on the topic of a case study done using the Council's occupational standards
Submissions through National Accreditation Program
February 1 is the next deadline for the submission of information about educational programs and courses for review through the Council's National Accreditation Program. Since the NAP was established in mid-2009, the Council has accredited eight programs
that meet all of the standards for accreditation.
Learning providers that want to apply for accreditation but miss the February 1 deadline should note that the subsequent deadline is May 1. The Council reviews submissions on a quarterly basis.
Volunteers Needed to Spread the Word at the National Job Fair
For several years now, the Council has relied on the help of volunteers in our booth at the twice-annual National Job Fair in Toronto. On March 24 and 25, we will once again exhibit at the event, and need help to man the booth. This busy show attracts 10,000 to 12,000 visitors.
The Council provides information about careers and education in the supply chain. Volunteers work in shifts of three to four hours, and are prepped for the kinds of questions they're likely to be asked in the booth. Council and pillar-association materials are available to refer to and hand out.
Opening the Floodgates: BC Hydro’s Community Outreach Program
Since 2006, BC Hydro has increased its workforce diversity by signing on 81 new Aboriginal employees – which represents a 311 per cent jump from the 26 Aboriginal employees already on board. As the result of wider advertising of job postings and greater outreach to Aboriginal communities, more candidates are eagerly lining up to work at the utility company.
“Across BC, Aboriginal people make up 4.4 per cent of the population,” says Jeannie Cranmer, BC Hydro’s Aboriginal education and employment strategy coordinator.
“Our goal of recruitment, capacity development and retention is to continue increasing our numbers over the next seven years by hiring 10 new Aboriginal employees each year while also retaining and developing our diverse talent of Aboriginal workers.”
Many of BC Hydro’s generating stations and reservoirs are in the north or remote interior where Aboriginal residents make up more than half the population in some communities so Cranmer says, “we’re not stopping once we reach that 4.4 per cent goal. We want to be regionally representative as well.”
Since 2006, Cranmer has attended more than 360 information events in Aboriginal communities across the province. As a result of these visits as well as presentations to chiefs and councils, job postings in Aboriginal media, and interviews on community radio stations, more than 2500 new Aboriginal applicants that have knocked on BC Hydro’s door. Interest continues to swell with an average of 113 new names added to BC Hydro’s employment database of potential Aboriginal applicants each month.
Community Outreach Programs
Eight of the new Aboriginal employees are enrolled in BC Hydro’s Trades Trainee program – a two-year, entry level power line technician program that prepares workers to continue into a trade apprenticeship.
“The trades trainee requirements are principles of Math 11 and Physics 11, a class 5 driver’s license with air brakes and no other formal training,” says Cranmer. “The expectation is that while they’re on a power line technician crew, they’re going to drive the bucket truck and assist the crew, where possible.”
At the next level, BC Hydro’s apprenticeship program requires Physics 12, Math Principles 12 and English 12, and, historically, hasn’t attracted many Aboriginal people to the program. “The trades trainee program, at least, provides me with an opportunity to encourage people to come in at a more junior position and be exposed to the trade,” says Cranmer. “For example, the four currently working as trades trainees are all taking their apprenticeship requirements.”
BC Hydro’s most successful community programs includes its Youth Hire program, designed to encourage students to stay in school and graduate with Grade 12 course levels so they can qualify for college, university or trades apprenticeship training.
BC Hydro is also creating more Aboriginal scholarships as part of its capacity development initiatives. Last year, it received 195 applications from Aboriginal students for seven $1,500 scholarships. It also offers another general $2000 scholarship, as well as a $4500 occupational health and safety coordinator scholarship that covers two years of tuition and books at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, leading to a four-year job opportunity at the company’s GMS generating station in the Peace River region.
In addition, BC Hydro has formed partnerships with a variety of Aboriginal Human Resource Development Agreement Holders (AHRDAs) and others in the utility sector such as Terasen, BC Transmission Corporation and Spectra to run summer utility boot camps for Aboriginal students in BC. These 10-day camps include one day of training at BC Hydro’s Electrical Industry Training Institute. The goal is to increase local capacity to engage in contract and employment opportunities.
“We’re seeing Aboriginal education and employment strategies added into benefit agreements,” says Cranmer. “We’re identifying procurement opportunities on our capital projects and we’re ensuring that the community is aware of what contracting and job opportunities are going to be available as well.”
In February 2008, BC Hydro joined the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB)’s Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program, becoming the first utility company in Canada to participate in the program – a program that is the first of its kind in the world.
Throughout 2008, it undertook a self-assessment process that was externally verified by the National Quality Institute. In December 2008, BC Hydro’s commitment to Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) earned the company a silver designation from the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Businesses (CCAB).
Clearly, BC Hydro has continued to climb the inclusion continuum, building on its on-going partnership with the Aboriginal Human Resource Council. In the past, it assisted with the development and testing of the council’s Mastering Aboriginal Inclusion training program and, today, it remains a strong partner – a role that continues to make it one of Canada’s diversity leaders.
Originally published by the Aboriginal Human Resource Council. Republished with permission.
Transportation Report Series: Canadian Chamber of Commerce
It’s About More Than Just Money
For Airvent Metal Products®, of Brantford, Ontario, responsible community giving starts on the factory floor. Airvent Metal Products has employed people with disabilities since 2006. What started with a commitment to corporate social responsibility and a desire to contribute to progress in the community in which they conduct business, turned itself into a natural competitive manufacturing advantage.
Business Takes Action talked with Mohan Chohan, Executive Director (Technical) of Airvent Metal Products, to learn more about their experience.
Airvent was first introduced to finding employment candidates from within the community of people with disabilities through the services of L. Tara Hooper and Associates Inc., an approved Service Provider of the Ontario Disability Support Program. Airvent benefitted from professional placement services that pre-screened candidates with disabilities, provided recommendations that matched skilled, qualified and motivated individuals to specific job requirements. Vicki Schweyer, a job coach with L. Tara Hooper and Associates “was a marvel,” providing insight that was used to structure training in a way that helped the employer and job candidate to succeed.
At Airvent Metal Products, people with disabilities work in production and maintenance roles. Skills involve assembling components by spot welding and fabrication using various metal working tools and machinery. To date, the only accommodations have been customized training and modifications to part handling logistics at no charge to the business. According to Mr. Chohan, the time spent training has returned consistent profitability, “A person who is motivated to work to their fullest potential everyday; regardless of their ability/disability, is exactly what helps make a manufacturer more productive and profitable.” Over time, Airvent has also witnessed higher levels of motivation and staff spirit overall, which he credits to the examples demonstrated by these “remarkable individuals.”
Mr. Chohan observed training conducted by the plant Operations Manager, taking note of difficulties the trainee was experiencing and also noting where they excelled. Using this information they formulated their training strategy, which has successfully been applied to other subsequent employees by the Operations Manager, without reliance on additional training resources. L. Tara Hooper and Associates, and other support service providers, also offer sensitivity training in addition to screening, job coaching and on-site training support. While the custom heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) metal products manufacturer experienced some initial negativity due to stereotypes and misperceptions of people with disabilities, Mr. Chohan reports that most feedback was positive. Since their focus has always been to hire people of upstanding moral quality, they found that sensitivity training was not required. As time moved forward, perceptions quickly changed and disappeared about the capabilities and potential of people with disabilities.
A welcoming and understanding work environment provides Candace Deeks, an employee of three years, with “a sense of belonging.” Candace is quite shy and prefers not to speak to “new people” until they are her friends. Mr. Chohan encourages all companies to expand to an inclusive work environment to back up their corporate social responsibility practices and create a positive workplace environment. “Giving back to a community is not about handing over a cheque with a hopeful smile, never knowing exactly what or who your donation is assisting. I decided to change our strategy and started to hire qualified people with disabilities. We get tangible results in real time and can see that every minute we spend with a person to develop their training program or to teach a specific task is making a difference.”
Dependability and staff loyalty equate to long term benefits for Airvent. According to Mr. Chohan, “in addition to meeting corporate social responsibility goals we can also provide these individuals with opportunities for independence, and a chance to achieve and succeed like every person should have.”
Originally published in the Business Takes Action December 2009 newsletter. Republished with permission. Information about Business Takes Action, a project of CME Ontario, can be found at www.businesstakesaction.ca.
Did You Know...?
...that one of the biggest threats facing your company is the loss of highly qualified women?
In a time when baby-boomer retirements threaten to shrink talent pools, no company can afford to make the mistake of underutilizing women in leadership ranks.
The third annual Rosenzweig Report on 'Women at the Top Levels of Corporate Canada' found that 5.8% of Canada's 100 largest publicly traded companies are women and 94.2% are men.
Women encounter different obstacles than men do in their careers, including prejudice, resistance to women's leadership, leadership-style issues, and family demands.
One study showed that 93% of the most highly qualified women who had taken some time out of their careers were looking for a way back in. However, only 74% of these women find a way to re-enter the workforce.
On average, men make $15,198 more annually than women.
How Can Your Business Combat This Trend?
To retain the skills of professional women (and men), companies must make it easier for workers to get off traditional career ladders and provide opportunities for them to get back on. Employers working to create more meaningful work-life balance can support working parents and young women with the use of such policies without having their employees suffer long-term career damage.
Work-life policies can include:
- Flextime – Allow employees to set their own work hours without cutting back on number of hours worked or provide options for compressed work weeks
- Telecommuting – Let parents work from home
- Career breaks – Provide an unpaid break spanning six months to three years, with the assurance of a job upon a person's return to work
- Restructured retirement plans – Eliminate penalties for career interruptions
- Reduced-hour careers – Make possible high-level jobs with reduced hours or workload that still offer the possibility of a promotion
- Alumni status for former employees – Help women who are taking a break from their career to stay in the loop; alumni could be asked for advice, and the company would continue to pay any professional fees required
- Childcare – Consider offering an affordable childcare service for your employees
- Mentoring – Create a mentorship program for women in your workplace. Team up individuals who wish to follow a similar career arch as their mentor.
Because of the interconnectedness of obstacles women face, companies that want more women leaders need to apply a variety of tactics simultaneously.
These options should be available for all workers and could be used to enable them to deal with sick family members, to return to school, and so on. Fellow employees should be educated on the policies and informed that taking advantage of these benefits will not be looked down upon by management or by co-workers.
Originally published in the December 2009 issue of Forces at Work, a publication of the Grand Erie Training and Adjustment Board. Republished with permission.
Attention Business Editors – Sustainable Business in Action
NOTE: This is a fictitious “case study” of imagined collaborative business practices. The intent is to illustrate collaborative value creation.
By Chris Irwin, MBA
JANUARY 23, 2014, COBOURG, ONTARIO – This week Trip Case, CEO of the Sustainable Business Consortium (SBC), spoke to this column about the “Service Station Redesign” project that reached its completion this month.
Identifying the Problem
“The three major oil and gas companies approached us about a year ago asking us to look at their service stations along major highways, specifically Ontario’s Highway 401,” Case recounts, explaining that increased fuel efficiency in cars created a business problem with these service stations.
Case explains: “Everyone is thrilled that cars can go further without refueling, but my clients have compared the change to running a 24-hour diner and finding that your client base now needs to eat only once a day.”
Understanding the Problem
“We always look for who else can be involved to bring in different resources, different perspectives and different interests. This is the place where SBC adds the most value,” Case continues.
Through consultation with the wider range of stakeholders, SBC learned that capacity is a big part of the business of providing services to travelers. The analysis revealed that there are two fairly fixed capacities that technology has not been able to alter greatly: (1) capacity to stay awake and alert while driving, and (2) bladder size.
In describing the collaboration, Case offers, “The most effective long-term solutions to today’s business problem lie in multi-party collaboration. Our first step is always to identify the list of parties that can benefit from being involved with the issue at hand.”
In addressing the problem faced by these service stations, SBC identified parties who could have, as Case puts it, “skin in this game.” In addition to the client group of gas companies, the list comprised organizations from the following areas:
- Coffee providers;
- Electric and water utilities;
- Research in waste management;
- Telecom service providers.
Select a Solution
“There is no question that the new legislation banning all cellphone communication from cars helped us out: people can’t stand being out of touch for too long,” Case explains. The service centres now offer “refueling zones,” where travelers can catch up on messages and conversations, while resting or drinking caffeinated beverages. Owned and operated by a new partnership entity, the redesigned service stations also offer such facilities as video-conferencing-enabled meeting rooms, “nap quarters,” and the proprietary “Quick Charge” battery-recharging services.
Rather than sell the real-estate assets entirely, the client group retains minority ownership of the new service stations. Case provides the rationale: “As alternative fuels enter the market, there may be a need for more-frequent refueling of fuel cells or recharging of electric cars. Our clients want to keep that option open.”
For full details on who is involved and how, visit www.MicroOB.com/sbc.
Chris Irwin works with organizations undergoing change to reduce interpersonal noise in cross-functional and stakeholder communications. He is on faculty at the Schulich School of Business, and in Humber’s Supply Chain program. He also teaches in PMAC’s Strategic Supply Chain Management Leadership Program. He blogs on related issues at www.MicroOB.com (Micro Organizational Behaviour) and can be reached through that website.
Can You Help?
Industry Projects Sought for BCIT International Trade and Transportation Students
Students in the International Trade and Transportation program at British Columbia Institute of Technology must demonstrate that they have mastered the practical applications of the program by performing a major industry project in their final term. Industry sponsors are needed to provide real-life projects to the students. Projects can be in such areas as market analysis, transportation-strategy analysis, warehousing cost/benefit analysis, inventory control and processes, and more.
Students work independently, but do require staff time for orientation, data collection and final presentation.
To have your project considered for inclusion in this program, contact project coordinator Stephen Turnbull, at 604-451-6796 or Stephen_Turnbull@bcit.ca
News From the Sector's Pillar Associations
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association
Haiti Earthquake Relief
CIFFA's National Board of Directors authorized a $1,000 donation from CIFFA to the Canadian Red Cross to help Haitians recover from the devastating earthquake in their country.
Many CIFFA members are also making financial donations to various humanitarian relief agencies. One member donated $1,000, and has challenged other CIFFA member companies to match its contribution. Another member firm is sending, free of charge, containers of collected donations to the Red Cross in Haiti, in coordination with the Haiti Consul General in Toronto.
CIFFA has challenged all of its members to make a financial or other contribution, large or small, and to inform the association of contributions of any kind.
Events in the Spotlight
Worker Satisfaction and Retention: The Career Development Connection – Canadian Career Development Foundation and the Canadian Research Working Group
Ottawa, Ontario – March 9
Does investing in career development programs in workplaces pay off? What do we know? What are the results? Do they last?
For the past three years, three career-development programs have been developed and used in SME workplaces in B.C., Alberta, Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick. The project is part of HRSDC’s Workplace Skills Initiative program (WSI). Employees have been tracked three and six months after doing the programs to see if any changes lasted.
On Tuesday, March 9th, the Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF) and the Canadian Research Working Group (CRWG) will host a one-day meeting for employers to discover the results and try out parts of the programs. The meeting will be held at the Lord Elgin Hotel in Ottawa. There is no cost to attend. An additional highlight will be author and workplace researcher, Dr. Graham Lowe, who will present his research on employee engagement.
Numbers are restricted, and organizers want employers to attend who are open to innovation, willing to try out new programs if they are found useful, and willing to spread the word about the programs to other employers in their networks.
To learn more about the work of the CRWG, go to http://www.crwg-gdrc.ca
. To find out more about the meeting, contact Lynne Bezanson, Executive Director of CCDF, at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 613-729-6164, ext. 204.
Fund-raising Golf Tournament – Calgary Logistics Council
Okotoks, Alberta – June 7
Get out on June 7 to help a worthy cause and enjoy a round of golf. The Calgary Logistics Council's golf tournament that day aims to raise the funds for three $1,000 scholarships, for a student at each of the University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. This best-ball tournament at D'Arcy Ranch in Okotoks, Alta., will have a 1:00 shotgun start. The registration fee of $173.25 per golfer includes a round of golf, a cart, dinner, prizes and lots of fun. Corporate sponsorships are available; donations from individuals would also be most welcome. To sign up or get information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Julia (Beange) Stickel, at email@example.com
International Association for Contract & Commercial Management, Networking Meeting
, January 26, Toronto, Ont.
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, eManifest, Highway Mode, Information Seminars
January 26: Montreal, Que.
February 2: Toronto, Ont.
February 9: webinar for other cities
Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, IATA Dangerous Goods Training
Initial (in French)
: January 26 to 28
Recurrent (in French)
: January 27 and 28
Radioactive (in French)
: January 28
Initial: February 2 to 4, April 27 to 29, June 15 to 17
Recurrent: February 3 and 4, April 28 and 29, June 16 and 17
Radioactive: February 4, April 29, June 17
Initial (in English): February 16 to 18, April 20 to 22
Recurrent (in English): February 17 and 18, April 21 and 22
Radioactive (in English): February 18, April 22
Initial: March 2 to 4
Recurrent: March 3 and 4
Radioactive: March 4
Initial: March 17 to 19
Recurrent: March 18 and 19
Radioactive: March 19
Initial: March 22 to 24
Recurrent: March 23 and 24
Radioactive: March 24
APICS The Association for Operations Management – Ontario Grand Valley Chapter, Innovation conference
, February 4 and 5, Cambridge, Ont.
Cargo Insurance (AM); Incoterms (PM)
Letters of Credit (AM); Incoterms (PM)
Export Reporting (AM); Cargo Insurance (PM)
Export Reporting (AM); Risks Forwarders Face (PM)
Worldwide Business Research, LogiChem 2010
, April 20 to 22, Dusseldorf, Germany
Canadian Public Procurement Council, Forum 2010
, October 3 to 6, Ottawa, Ont.