Concert Properties co-founder, Chair, President and CEO David Podmore, OBC, spoke at the BC Building Trades Convention in Victoria on October 3, 2022.
The BC Building Trades Council represents 25 local craft construction unions and more than 40,000 unionized construction workers across the province, with the goal of advancing economic prosperity while supporting local workers and building a better British Columbia.
Speaking on the impact that union construction has, and will continue to have, on Concert Properties’ growth, David reflected on the company’s three founding principles: deliver long-term returns to our owners; create jobs and use skilled onsite union labour; and give back to the communities where we work.
Following these principles, he noted that we’ve been able to deliver quality buildings and strong financial returns to our pension plan owners for over 33 years.
And our future looks bright. We are well underway on the largest construction effort in our history, and currently have under construction over 2,200 rental and condominium homes, and through Concert Infrastructure, five schools, worth $1.6 billion in total. Over the next five years, Concert Properties will deliver well over one billion dollars in wages for skilled union tradespeople, creating a positive economic impact across Canada.
But, while these employment outcomes are positive, finding skilled labour continues to be a challenge. To address this, Concert Properties recently contributed $7.5 million to the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) to fund the construction of the new Concert Properties Centre for Trades & Technology. Not only will this funding help alleviate trades training waitlists, but it will build capacity for 700 additional students and increase access to newer technologies.
This new Centre, along with the BCIT Trades Discovery program established by Concert Properties with the support of industry partners over 20 years ago, and the funding of additional training programs across Canada, will go a long way to provide skilled tradespeople for the industry.
“Our long-term, consistent financial returns make a substantial contribution to our Canadian-owned pension funds that represent over 200,000 Canadians,” says Podmore. “That is made possible by our commitment to using skilled labour in delivering quality buildings, which in turn makes it possible for us to hire graduates from trades training institutions across Canada. It’s a virtuous circle of employment, ensuring a steady stream of skilled tradespeople for the construction industry, now and into the future.”