Effort matches manpower needs with lagging U.S. work
THE GROWING NEED for skilled manpower in Canada—particularly in the Alberta oil sands region—along with lagging work in some areas of the United States, has spawned a new Boilermaker recruitment program to address the situation.
Since last fall, Jim Beauchamp, coordinator for the BCA/IBB Boilermaker Recruitment Initiative, has been traveling to U.S. construction lodges to present seminars about available work opportunities. Members receive information about registration procedures, jobsite requirements, wages and benefits, and immigration and entry requirements. The goal is to enable Boilermakers to work freely between the two countries and implement a database system where Canadian dispatchers can find U.S. workers with appropriate qualifications.
Says Beauchamp, “We need the manpower in Canada, so it’s a win-win situation — good for contractors, membership, and the [Boilermaker] organization.”
Mark Keffeler, BM-ST for L- 242 (Spokane, Wash.) said several L-242 members succeeded in landing jobs at an Alberta oil sands processing plant after attending a seminar and adding their names to the Canadian database.
“The experience exceeded their expectations in safety, procedure, and ease of travel,” he said.
Beauchamp said he has given seminars at roughly half of the U.S. construction locals and is continuing the effort.
“It’s going to take as long as it takes, but the overall vision is to inform locals of upcoming work in Canada, and connect Canadian dispatchers to workers in the U.S.” he said.
U.S. construction Boilermakers wishing to sign up for recruitment should visit the Canadian website at www.boilermaker.ca.