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Kitchen Cabinet Production Worker Training Program – A model of success

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Kitchen Cabinet Production Worker Training Program – A model of success

The Kitchen Cabinet Production Worker Training Program – you need trained workers and we’re creating a supply stream

October 2023

CKCA is thrilled to see a second Cohort running for this training program that was piloted in BC in early 2023. Working in partnership with Northwest Skills, CKCA hopes to expand this program across the country and continue to see the successful placement of these students into jobs that need to be filled.  Many students are new residents to Canada who not only learn skills for employment, these are universal skills that offer a foundation to help them settle in Canada. Work prospects in the kitchen cabinet industry remain strong as our demand for housing continues.  We’re excited to see this program continue and expand.

The program was created in 2023 in direct response to CKCA members stating there was a need for labour and not just anyone but hires who could hit the ground running. Under the Northwest Industries Association, who has extensive experience as an association running similar employment training, this 9-week government funded training program was designed to prepare unemployed and underemployed persons for work within the Kitchen Cabinet sector. Working closely with CKCA members to understand their needs and skill requirements in potential employees, the Northwest Skills Institute created a hands on training program focused on the use of power and hand tools where students built projects each week, the application of safety, how to create and read blueprints, numeracy skills around imperial to metric conversion, quality control measures, finishing skills using sanders, spray paint guns, stain and varnish, online CNC training, Forklift Theory, Daily Kaizen, OFA 1, WHMIS and much more.

As the training is full time, 9am-4pm, Mon-Fri, it also increased the job skills of participants in terms of punctuality, attendance, attitude, working with and communicating with others, computer skills for online content, set up and take down of tools and equipment, continuous learning and the importance of a clean working environment.

Weekly tours with CKCA members helped students learn about common equipment, the application of Kaizen at work, production procedures, job order tracking software and systems, and opportunities within this sector. Employers in turn had the opportunity to promote their companies and to meet potential hires ahead of time. CKCA would like to sincerely thank those participating companies!

The first cohort started May 15th-July 15th with 15 participants. Fieldtrips included: Nickels, Sunrise Kitchens, Sofo Kitchens, A&A Holz, and Merit Kitchens. For job placements, Merit Kitchens hired 2 persons with Kitchen Makeover, I Love Kitchens, Armstrong Cabinets, WestCoast Mouldings and Millwork, and Makihardwood Flooring all hiring at least one. A&A Holz and Sunrise Kitchens also provided opportunities for interviews.

Cohort 2 started Oct 2nd-Dec 2nd with another 15 students ready to start their new careers within this sector. The diversity within the cohorts has been fantastic with newcomers from Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iran, India and local born Canadians. There are younger persons just starting their working careers and those with extensive experience looking to change. All are seeking the opportunity to attain training and learn more about this exciting industry.

With one successful Kitchen Cabinet Production Worker training program under its belt and second underway, it is a proven model of success in terms of recruitment, skills training and job placements. We are excited then with the potential to roll out similar training in different provinces to help CKCA address labour challenges. As mentioned, you needed people and Northwest Skills answered.  If you need people, please let Northwest Skills know. We are looking for expressed interest from other parts of the country to see where we can set up another program.

Contact:  Cormac O’Reilly, Senior Program Manager, NorthWest Skills Institute

340-1275 Venables St., Vancouver, BC

T: (604) 900-1980 ext 122