An aging demographic and a strong foundation will bode well for young people to remain at home and gain employment.
This was the message conveyed by a host of presenters during the 50th anniversary conference of the Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Association (NLCA) Tuesday at the Delta Hotel in St. John’s.
“These sessions gave us an idea what to expect in the future for this province,” said James Loder, NLCA Conference 2018 chair.
“The future of the province is very, very bright. There is lots to be optimistic about.”
Loder said the opportunities for young people are better than they have ever been. He said as the population ages here, there will be a host of opportunities for young people to fill those voids, so the demographics are in their favour.
“Our young people have a reason to stay.”
The motto for the conference was “Lessons from the past, visions of the future.”
Loder said there was a host of people on hand for the event, key people who helped to build the NLCA to where it is today.
“We had Stewart Watson, the first chair of our association, on hand. He had amazing stories from back in the day,” Loder said.
“It was amazing that a 30-year-old, at the time, could help professionalize the association.”
In a lot of cases, the various presentations exceeded expectations. One of those was the student mentoring session.
The intent of this presentation was for students to gain insight from experienced professionals and government officials, with the desired outcome being for the students to forge a plan for their futures.
“We talked about how we thought this would go and planned for around 50, which we thought would have been great. We got 85, so we had to put in extra chairs,” Loder said.
“We were thrilled with the response and the students stayed for the entire time and even beyond to engage with all the people in the room.”
On Friday, there were business sessions that were filled with valuable information, Loder said.
The event’s Casino Night on Saturday was a huge success, as it raised $40,000 for the Mazol Shriners. It featured a speech from a young man who was injured in a ski accident and had received help from a Shriner’s program.
“Through that help he was able to work his way back and walk up onstage to talk to us about the help he received.”
During the election of officers, Rhonda Collings was returned as chair of the NLCA. In addition, board member John Cutler was a big winner at the end of the night.
“We asked everyone at the gala to turn on their cellphones and once we drew the name for the car, we called the winner’s phone and everyone in the room heard it ring,” Loder said.
Cutler took home the 2017 Chevrolet Spark donated by Hickman Automotive Group.
“I’ve heard lots of feedback from multiple people and they said the event was incredible.”
2018 ROCK Award Winners
The Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Association (NLCA) presented its 2018 ROCK Award Winners on Saturday night during the Chairpersons Ball and Annual Awards Gala.
The award recipients included:
• Provincial Safety Award: The Cahill Group.
• General Contractor Award of Excellence: Marco Services Ltd.
• Subcontractor Award of Excellence: Belfor Property Restoration.
• Supplier Award of Excellence: United Rentals.
• Professional Services Award of Excellence: Academy Canada.
• Community Leader Award: Bert Hickman and Jonathan Hickman, Hickman Automotive Group.
• Hall of Fame Inductee: Aubrey Drover.
In addition, several companies were recognized for being long-term members of the NLCA and included charter members Guildfords, Thomas Economy Glass and Dawe’s Mechanical Ltd., all honoured for their 50-year commitment to the organization.
Others who attained milestones included:
45 Years: Bird-Stairs.
40 Years: Olympic Construction Ltd., M&M Engineering/M&M Offshore Ltd.; Otis Canada Inc.; and Atlantic Industries Ltd.
35 Years: JSM Electrical Ltd.; IPEX Inc.; and Economy Drywall Supplies.
30 Years: United Rentals; J&T Construction Ltd.; and Apex Construction Specialties Inc.
25 Years: Bayview Electrical Ltd.; J&E enterprises Ltd. and Hunts Transport Ltd.
20 Years: Battlefield Equipment Rentals; Mechanical Components Ltd. and Jenkins Power Sheet Metal Inc.
15 Years: Hampton Building Systems Inc. and Extreme East Metals Inc.
10 Years: AON Risk Solutions and Young’s Industrial Refrigeration Ltd.
In addition to a number of keynote speakers on a wide variety of topics, there were 30 exhibitors’ booths on site featuring a cross-section of businesses from across the province.