Labour shortage is a very serious issue for kitchen cabinet industry (Part 1)

It cannot be overstated: the Canadian kitchen cabinet industry is facing a serious labour shortage issue – and there are signs that it will get worse if the industry and government does not immediately take action. The Canadian Kitchen Cabinet Association is sounding the alarm bell to heighten awareness and accelerate strategies to attract and retain workers in the industry.

In its Fall 2021 study on labour shortages in our country, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) reported:Labour shortage is not a new phenomenon in Canada, yet the pressure has intensified in recent years. More than half (55%) of Canadian entrepreneurs are struggling to hire the workers they need, leaving them with no choice but to work more hours, as well as delay or refuse new orders.”

There are many signs that the situation may have passed the tipping point.

  • Ontario Chamber of Commerce reported a total of 62 percent of Ontario businesses are confronting labour shortages and they expect this to be a long-term problem.
  • Canadian Apprenticeship Forum states skilled trades require an average of 75,000 new apprentices to be hired every year in the next five years in order to meet the demand.
  • Buildforce Canada reports the construction industry requires 309,000 new recruits by 2030.

What kitchen cabinet businesses are experiencing with its labour force is not unique, yet this industry must find solutions to its labour shortage issues or its future prosperity – perhaps survival – is in question. This industry in Canada employs almost 25,000 and Statistics Canada employment figures reveal there is currently a ten percent job vacancy rate. So, there is a significant shortfall of labour today.

Then there is the matter of a greying workforce. The federal government recently launched a campaign to promote skilled trades after its recent projections that estimate 700,000 skilled trades workers are expected to retire between 2019 and 2028. On this point, one CKCA member revealed that his company will have 40 percent of its workforce retiring in the next five years.

Technology also creates a challenge for all skilled labour industries. The World Economic Forum estimates that 44 percent of the skills that employees currently have will need to change by 2025. So, industries today must not only plan to recruit and train thousands, but adopt upskilling and engagement strategies that will retain talent – just in order to keep the doors open.

To address this complex issue, the CKCA advanced a policy statement on the skilled labour shortage in Canada:

The CKCA and the Wood Manufacturing Council calls for support from industry and government in: 1) communicating the benefits of working in the kitchen cabinet industry, while building educational programs that include mentorship and relevant skills training, 2) financial assistance for the retention and re-training of employees for shops investing in automation and continuous improvement, and 3) creating a support network that promotes and makes more accessible existing tools that address shared labour challenges. (CKCA policy statement can be read here.)

Watch for – Part 2: CKCA reviews proposed solutions addressing the labour shortage problem in Canada.

Denca Cabinets goes solar and are sure glad they did!

(March 2022)

Dominic and Heidi Boudreault, Owners of Denca Cabinets decided to invest in Solar panels in 2020.  When they started doing some research they noticed the Alberta grants & solar panel pricing had come down significantly. Heidi says  “We will be able to start seeing returns in 2.5 years!.”

Getting solar panels on the roof of their 45,000 sq ft. building has provided a way for Denca  to decrease their carbon footprint. They installed 466 x 72 cell modules which produces approx. 237,500Kwh of energy. This is equivalent to 70% of Denca’s annual energy requirements.

According to Heidi “The 209.41 kW solar PV system is estimated to produce 6,824,000 kWh over the 30 year life of the system which will provide the following environmental benefits (check out this handy report they receive from their provider):

Equivalent 79840 trees planted

3,899,700 (kg CO2e) C02 Emission Saved

Equivalent to 45,493,640 Kilometers Driven by an Electric Vehicle.”

Well done Dominic and Heidi Boudreault for taking a big step forward in making your business more environmentally sustainable. As well, we are sure given the current prices for energy, the timing could not have been better. We look forward to hearing from you in the future to see how this journey continues and what other innovative solutions you find to turn your business into “a green machine”!!

Handhills Cabinets shows how capable their machinery really is

Handhills Cabinets, is  a proud member of CKCA based in Hanna, Alberta.

Recently they had a large commercial job that required plywood shelving.

With solid 3/4 strip wood on the front edges,– vs just some thin PVS edge, and without the options on this machine, Handhills admits they could not have bid on the job. What they found different about the machine is that only larger and really heavy duty machines can actually apply an edge that thick ( 3/4″ ) most only go to ( 3/8″ ) or smaller. The unit in video 3– is again a unit found only on larger machines, so they would never want to do without it, –unless you only ever want to straight kitchen cabinets.

Handhills Cabinets says “If you do both residential and commercial, it pays to spend a little more on a machine with more options.”

Video 1 – Feeding in and applying 3/4″ thick solid lumber to apply onto a commercial shelving job, using waterproof PUR adhesive.
Video 2 – Showing front and back trim cutting off excess overhand
Video 3 – Rough trimmer units – trimming applied piece flush to panel
Video 4 – Profile units putting a smaller chamfer edges


Working up the chain on the supply chain issue

CKCA is a member of the Canadian Manufacturer’s Coalition. We provide input and “feed it up the chain” about the issues we face in our sector so that our voice is heard. While we share many of the same challenges as other manufacturing sectors, it’s important we present a unified voice when speaking with Government. We are pleased to see CME continuing it’s work to seek solutions with Government to address the supply chain which is causing many difficulties across all sectors.

CME Urges Swift and Sustained Action at Supply Chain Summit (Jan 31, 2022)

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) took part in the federal government’s supply chain summit hosted today by Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra. With the goal of improving Canada’s supply chains, the summit was also attended by five other federal Ministers – Trade Minister Mary Ng, Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, and Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan.

CME’s primary objective was to press the government to commit to sustained action on fixing supply chain problems that are impacting manufacturing operations across the country. Specifically, CME called on the government to create sector specific task forces that will identify supply chain problems and their solutions, and that the government will commit to implementing the task forces’ recommendations.

Further to sharing solutions, CME explained how supply chains are impacting manufacturers and offered the following priority recommendations:

  • Address all transportation bottlenecks and avoid policies that will aggravate them further;
  • Speed up immigration into Canada to fill vacant jobs in manufacturing and other key sectors; and
  • Provide government assistance for manufacturers still struggling with the impacts of supply chain disruptions.

Today’s meeting builds on CME’s months-long advocacy push to mitigate some of the impacts manufacturers have been experiencing with supply chain disruptions. From parts and ingredient shortages to trucker mandates impacting the cost and availability of transportation services, CME will continue to press for improvements on all these challenges behind the scenes and in the media

CKCA plugs in to Cyber Threat Security Strategies

CKCA continues to work to share insights with our members to help you protect your business assets from Cyber attacks.
Register for this session, hosted by the Wood Manufacturing Cluster of Ontario.  Taking place Feb 15, 2022 (CKCA Members welcome)
We continue to stay plugged in to the Canadian Cyber Threat Exchange, a valuable collaboration centre that brings security experts together to share intel on how to defend against the latest threats.
Recently we attended a panel discussion that heard from companies including TDBank. Due to issues on the international stage and conflicts in some parts of the world, cyber attacks are on the increase hitting big companies and small.
Furthermore, companies who have remote workers are at increased risk because workers may be on an unsecured network (i.e. coffee shop) working on the company computer with sensitive information. It’s important to have proper procedures in place to manage these situations in addition to taking steps to secure the data on your network.
Protect your business assets. Never assume. Use CKCA’s handy checklist to know what questions to ask your IT provider and and make sure you get answers.
Other tools:  Watch CKCA’s recorded session on Cyber Security here.
Cyber attacks are on the increase sparking more awareness to protect your business. Don’t get caught.

CKCA gives their predictions for 2022 year

We were pleased to be asked by Woodworking Network to give our predictions for 2022.

While no one has the real crystal ball, we can reflect back on how the past year has gone and connect with the trends we are seeing.

That’s why it’s important the kitchen cabinet industry in Canada has a voice as a sector. We all need that big picture view and CKCA gathers intel to do just that.

Check out this article along with other industry experts about what to expect this year.


2020/Compusoft merger now official

 2020/Compusoft merger was officially finalised on December 1st, 2021

Press release here »

The combined group will specialise in providing solutions for the visualisation, configuration, pricing, quoting and manufacturing of products in highly configured spaces.

For now, 2020 and Compusoft will operate under their respective company names while they work on their new brand. As such, they are conducting a piece of research to define their new combined company name and identity, taking the best of both brands to date.

As they move forward with their research they will be connecting with employees, customers, and partners, including associations,  across the globe to their feedback and perspectives around brand identity.

Vaccine Policy and Covid-19 Small Business Centre Help

Get the answers you need!

According to a KMPG survey, some 62% of employers who are preparing for employees to return to the workplace will require or plan to require proof of Covid-19 vaccination from their employees. As well, 84 per-cent agree that vaccines are key to avoiding another lockdown and should be mandatory.
According to Public Health Canada, as of Nov. 27, 2021, 75.86 per-cent of the population have been fully vaccinated.
Note: Don’t forget CKCA members are CFIB members (those eligibile) and that gives you access to all the latest updates on implementing Covid-19 vaccination policies in your workplace. Be sure to check out CFIB’s Covid-19 Small Business Help Centre. Get the answers and help you need. Forgot your CFIB member number? Call or E-mail us and we can provide that to you. CKCA – 613-493-5858 or