The people-first future we are building at Concert Properties is guided by our founding principles of creating jobs and using skilled construction union labour while giving back to the communities where we work.
One way we give back to our communities is our collaboration with post-secondary institutions and community organizations.
Since 1995, we have remained committed to supporting trades training programs across Canada that equip students with the skills needed for long-term careers in the construction industry.
Through initiatives like our Annual Corporate Charity Golf Tournament, Concert Properties and industry partners have raised over $4.6 million towards funding trades training to date. Of this $2.5 million has been donated to the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), with their Trades Discovery Program receiving the bulk of this funding towards student bursaries and grants. This program is designed to offer participants access to different trades before committing to one, affording them the opportunity to explore what they’re most passionate about and build the specific skills needed to thrive in their chosen trade.
A great example of the program's impact is Sheila Sadler, an alumna from the Trades Discovery Program, and a current executive board member for Sheet Metal Workers Union Local 280.
In 2003, Sheila found herself at a crossroads. Times were tough. While working at a café, she struggled to make ends meet while raising two young daughters.
One day, while closing up the café, Sheila came across a newspaper cover story that caught her attention – a success story about a woman who had become a plumber after completing the Trades Discovery Program at BCIT. Sheila had never seen someone like herself in the trades until that moment and felt inspired to join the program. This marked the beginning of her journey to becoming a Red Seal Sheet Metal Worker.
For Sheila, the Trades Discovery Program was an exceptional experience. “It allowed me to explore my interests, discover my strengths and choose the career I wanted,” says Sheila. “Most importantly, the program equipped me with the skills and knowledge needed for a successful career as a sheet metal worker.”
Over the past two decades, Sheila has had a remarkable career. Her accomplishments, from passing the Red Seal test to contributing to the construction of buildings in Vancouver, are a testament to her dedication and the support received from programs like the Trades Discovery Program.
Today, Sheila remains actively engaged with the program, sharing her experience with the next generation of aspiring tradespeople. In her spare time, she collaborates with the Construction Foundation, conducting outreach to K-12 students, women's groups, indigenous peoples and the wider community.
Sheila’s story is just one of many examples of the impact that collaboration between Concert Properties and our post-secondary institution partners, like BCIT, can have on empowering individuals to seek meaningful careers in the construction industry, while helping address the ongoing shortage of skilled trades people the industry faces.