MISSISSAUGA, ONT. — Twelve high schools and hundreds of students in northern Ontario will get a visit from the Ontario Construction Careers Alliance (OCCA) this month to hear about career opportunities in the construction industry.
The OCCA's two-week northern Ontario tour kicked off Oct. 16 and will wrap up Oct. 27.
According to a release, the OCCA is a non-profit, industry-funded coalition whose mandate is to promote construction trades and professional careers in Ontario high schools and provide information about resources available to pursue them.
The alliance speaks to thousands of Ontario high school students at hundreds of schools each year in their classrooms and at job fairs.
"We are especially excited about this northern Ontario tour because northern communities are traditionally a valuable source of new construction workers," said Jessica Steffler, OCCA director of career promotion, in a statement.
"We want to make sure that we keep getting good new tradespeople and construction professionals from the north and a specific priority for OCCA is to generate more interest from aboriginal youth in the north. We see that demographic as having a huge potential for the futures of both the individuals who find good careers in construction and to our industry that needs those workers."
By 2026 there will be a shortfall of 86,000 skilled construction workers in Ontario and the OCCA wants to encourage young people to consider the benefits of choosing a construction career, Steffler added.
"Whether a student intends to start a career right after high school or plans to go to college or university, there are a myriad of very well-paying and satisfying career choices in the construction industry," she said.
"Whether a young woman or man prefers to work outdoors in a physical environment, indoors with tools, at the controls of a heavy construction machine or with computers in an office environment, construction has options for every ambition."
For more information about the OCCA, visit www.myocca.ca.