May 1, 2023
Giuseppe Castrucci former VP, Sales and Marketing may have retired from Laurysen Kitchens but he’s not sitting still. Instead Castrucci has initiated a collaboration between CKCA, Wood Manufacturing Council (WMC), National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA Ottawa Chapter), Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association ) GOHBA and Algonquin College to spearhead a one day conference in November in Ottawa to shine a light on the many career opportunities available in the residential building sector in Ottawa.
With the City of Ottawa committed to building 151,000 new homes in the next 10 years (that’s about 15,00 a year) the demand for skilled workers is only going to increase and we are all seeing the exodus of workers from the building industry as they head into retirement.
In a recent article in the Ottawa Citizen (Housing Renos – March 25 P2) it was mentioned that 400,000 skilled labourers will be retiring over the next ten years. But it’s important to note these retirees have plans to live in their homes, a trend that the kitchen cabinet industry has been hearing more about for some time called “aging in place.” CKCA ran a webinar on this trend 2 years ago, you can find the link to the recorded session here.
Add this to the newcomers to Canada and demand to build more housing for them and you have the highest demand for housing and renovation the industry has ever seen at a time where we have a diminishing workforce.
Jason Burggraaf, Executive Director of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association says “GOHBA is actively promoting skilled trades as a first-choice career while leveraging strategic partnerships like these to attract young people, immigrants, and those looking for a new career to consider a skilled trade in residential construction and professional renovation. Building approximately 10,000 new homes a year and renovating our 400,000 existing homes means that in Ottawa we need an average of 800 new workers every year for the next 10 years to keep up with labour demand.”
The residential and home renovation industry across Canada has found itself in a chicken or egg situation.
“Collaboration amongst stakeholders isn’t just a nice to do any more, its a must do as we all face the same issues” says Sandra Wood, Executive Director, CKCA. With CKCA participating in the collaboration the hopes is to create a one day event that profiles the building industry in Ottawa and the career paths available. We need to expose youth, parents, newcomers and those looking to change careers to the residential building sector and dispel the myths and celebrate the many positives this industry has to offer” says Wood.
The collaboration is a work in progress. CKCA has reached out to it’s local members inviting them to participate in the one day event. Castrucci is pleased with the progress made so far “As industry it’s important we do what we can to bring new talent into our industry. We can no longer assume we will have workers. The business potential for the kitchen cabinet industry in Canada is enormous. We need to get stakeholder organizations working together if we’re going to move the dial on the skilled labour shortage.”
As Chair of the collaboration, Castrucci is encouraging the group to leverage their individual expertise because each organization has been doing work on this issue for some time. The hopes is that this initiative will serve to become a template used in other parts of Canada. If you are interested in getting an initiative like this started in your local area, reach out to Sandra Wood at CKCA email@example.com.