Trades Training: a long-term investment in a people-first future
As part of our investment in people, we collaborate with colleges, institutes and community organizations to help fund trades training programs to equip diverse members of our community with the skills needed for well-paying careers in the construction industry.
Since 1995 we've raised funds for trades training through our Annual Corporate Charity Golf Tournament, with support from our industry partners. This money has funded hundreds of bursaries and scholarships for trades programs at George Brown College and Hammer Heads program in Ontario, and British Columbia Institute of Technology and Camosun College in BC, helping students pay for tuition, rent and food.
We felt so strongly about supporting trades training that we established the Concert Foundation, a charitable organization, to raise funds for important issues like this. To find out how you can join us in this support, please visit the Concert Foundation site.
The Impact of Your Support
“The chance to pursue my passion and support my family hit hard by COVID has been a game-changer. They’re really proud of me because now not only do I have a steady job, I’m a woman in the trades.”
Jahmeeka Hussey has come a long way in a short time. With a scholarship from the Central Ontario Building Trades Hammer Heads program, this 22-year-old plumbing apprentice is gaining new skills and steady employment.
Our funding for the Hammer Heads Program, and their goal of helping youth at risk from underserved neighbourhoods obtain rewarding full-time careers in construction, is part of our commitment to building a people-first future.
Hear more of Jahmeeka's journey. Watch her video here.
“Without this program, I would not have had as many open doors as I do now.”
As an indigenous student enrolled in Camosun College, Jonathan Su understands the unique challenges facing many First Nations youth, and how its Trades for Success program can change their lives.
“This program provides practical skills youth like me need to help overcome challenges and open doors. It’s about investing in future generations and helping build a better future for the planet and society.”
Hear more of Jonathan's journey. Watch his video here.
“I’m living a life I couldn’t imagine myself living before.”
For recent Hammer Heads program graduate Harley Horndl, the opportunity to pursue a career in construction trades isn’t just about hammering and using tools. It’s about creating something larger.
“Concert’s support really helped take me from a not so nice place and put me into somewhere where I’m embarking on a successful career and a promising future.”
Hear more of Harley's journey. Watch her video here.
“This funding allowed me to breathe a little bit and focus on living my life still while in school.”
By the time Rob Isaac graduated from BCIT’s Trades Discovery program in 2005, he had sampled many trades, choosing one thanks in part to our support. Today, he owns a successful plumbing company.
Our funding for BCIT’s Trades Discovery program helps students like Rob obtain rewarding full-time careers in construction. It’s part of our commitment to building a people-first future.
Hear more of Rob's journey. Watch his video here.
"I’m able to start post-grad life with a lot less debt than I had anticipated.”
With an engineering degree already in hand, Farrah Sheikh needed hands-on experience to enhance her practical skills. With our help, she graduated from George Brown College’s Construction Trades Techniques program.
“I now manage key design aspects of major projects around the GTA. Concert’s support has definitely helped validate the reasons why I went into engineering.”
Hear more of Farrah's story. Watch her video here.
“This program is helping me sling-shot myself forward into better opportunities.”
Isaiah Sanchez always wanted a career in the trades but didn’t know where to start. Responding to an ad on social media for Camosun College’s Trades for Success program launched his journey.
“I really enjoy the course. It’s fast-paced, the teachers are great, and the facilities are awesome. This program helps a lot of people like me who haven’t received the experience or training they need.”
Hear more of Isaiah's journey. Watch his video here.
“This funding showed me that I was important and somebody who had potential.”
When Laura Quilty first found the Trades Discovery program on BCIT’s website she was a single mother of two and struggling. After graduating, she went from being a sheet metal journeyman to a regional director managing major construction projects. She has even taught at BCIT, where her journey began.
“Concert’s support helped me purchase my first tool belt, hand tools and boots. Within six months I was working on a job site. The impact that this program has on people and their lives is huge.”
Hear more of Laura's journey. Watch her video here.
“Giving scholarships to students allows us to move forward in our studies and careers with confidence, finding what we want to do for the rest of our lives. This has had a big impact on my life.”
With our support, George Brown College graduate Janesh Sritharan soon became a project coordinator at a construction company, overseeing project schedules, budgets and onsite safety protocols.
Our funding for George Brown’s Construction Management program helps students like Janesh obtain rewarding full-time careers. It’s part of our commitment to building a people-first future.
Hear more of Janesh's journey. Watch his video here.
Our Commitment to Community
Concert is committed to making a difference in communities where we are fortunate to work and invest. In order to provide the most impact and leverage the skills of our talented staff in the best possible way, Concert established our CommunityWorks initiative.
Concert CommunityWorks partners with community organizations to help them build projects or support volunteer campaigns. Our team is willing to do the work to secure a thriving future for all Canadians.
Total Charitable Donations in 2020$140,000
Raised for Trades Training$3.5 million
Concert CommunityWorks6 completed projects
We donate staff time—as well as money and resources—to organizations making a difference in our community. Specifically we choose to partner with organizations working to alleviate poverty, hunger and homelessness and organizations supporting cancer research.
Stories from Our Community
Hearing from members of our community, individuals and organizations who have benefited from the initiatives we’ve designed, makes it all worthwhile. Hearing these stories is what motivates us to add new initiatives to Concert CommunityWorks.
Concert staff sleep out to support homeless youth
As part of our 30th anniversary celebration Concert staff in both our Vancouver and Toronto offices slept out on the street for a night to raise funds for SleepOut Vancouver and Toronto by Covenant House to raise funds and awareness for homeless youth.
As a staff member said, "if you're in a position to help, you should...participating in Sleep Out with my colleagues was a humbling experience, and also a motivator to create more housing options in the communities in which we build."
Supporting our social conscience
Fleeing unspeakable destruction and hardship, Mahmoud Halak, 36, and his wife Smah, were elated when they learned that the Government of Canada was sending them to Vancouver from from Damascus, Syria, in the spring of 2016. “We are going to love everything about it,” he told her and their two children, now 11 and 12. And they do.
Concert’s part in this was to provide the first, most essential need—housing. Fifteen of the families arriving that February were offered subsidized apartments at Concert’s Whitgift Gardens in Coquitlam for their first year in Canada. Tragically, a fire destroyed Mahmoud’s home there only six months after moving in, and yet Mahmoud is emotional with his gratitude. “Concert continued to help us, finding another place for us to live,” he says, still with some awe in his voice. Mahmoud, Smah and their children now live in Vancouver, where he is pursuing an apprenticeship in floor-laying with Beatty Floors, a regular contractor to Concert. He says he smiles when their work finds them at a Concert building. "Life happens,” Mahmoud says philosophically. “And we are here to see it happen.”
Staff (and residents) ride to support cancer research
Concert staff (and residents) in both the Vancouver and Toronto offices rode hundreds of kilometres in support of cancer research as part of our 30th year celebrations. Staff joined Tapestry active aging community residents to train for the rides, with some residents riding on stationary bikes - and also raising funds.
Katrina Shadikhan, a sales coordinator at Concert, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgins Lymphoma and rode in the Toronto Ride, and was asked to speak to riders at the half way point. "I talked about how Concert is my community, and because of participation in things like this, they help me support my larger community. That means the world to me," In total, some $150,000 was raised.