This month David Miller, Board Chair of BC Infrastructure Benefits (BCIB), gave an update to the CVRD and member municipalities about local employment statistics and the Cowichan District Hospital Replacement Project (CDHRP). BCIB is a provincial Crown corporation working on many of BC’s largest infrastructure projects and is a major employer in the Cowichan Valley through the CDHRP. They are working to grow and diversify the skilled trades workforce by offering equitable job opportunities to Indigenous peoples, locals, women, and other underrepresented tradespeople. Miller states that:
“BCIB is a member of the Nuts’a’maat Alliance, and we’re proud to provide local residents with skilled trades careers and to help keep the economic benefits of this major [hospital] project in the community…Thanks to our Priority Hiring system, CVRD residents have an opportunity to work close to home.”
The Nuts’a’maat Alliance is comprised of BCIB, the Vancouver Island Health Authority, EllisDon, Parkin Architects and Infrastructure BC. Between 2019 and September 2023, BCIB helped the Cowichan economy by hiring 124 local workers. Cowichan Valley residents represent 45% of all CDHRP workers hired. Additionally, BCIB has hired 248 workers living within a 100km driving radius of the CDHRP. This radius only includes Vancouver Island.
BCIB seeks to tackle issues around worker retention and create more inclusive and respectful jobsites. Underrepresented workers often leave contracts due to challenging onsite cultures. BCIB works directly with contractors to make work environments more diverse and welcoming, so more people stay in construction. To date they have employed more Indigenous workers than the provincial industry average, as well as employing more female workers than the provincial average.
To learn more about how BCIB is providing career-building opportunities in the Cowichan Valley and across British Columbia, you can access their Building Opportunities report below.
BCIB is actively recruiting more skilled trade workers and folks wanting to get into the skilled trades in the Cowichan Valley. They have prepared a Skilled Trades Recruitment Toolkit to connect residents with work opportunities. For more information, you can contact Greg Johnson, BCIB Executive Director, Stakeholder & Community Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 778-875-1692.
For more information about the many opportunities available through BCIB you can also visit their website.