February 15, 2016
Paul Brydges
LO President

Paul BrydgesWelcome to 2016! I hope the new year finds everyone and their families healthy, happy and well-rested after a late season end to 2015. 

Some companies intend to work well into the new year and how long the 2015 construction year can really be carried remains to be seen.

This shows how fast our profession is evolving. We can literally carry out construction throughout the entire year due to varied weather patterns and larger equipment to work through frost and snow.

As professionals, this should make it easier to entice young people into starting a lifelong career in one of our many green professions.

When I look at the vast array of intricate and detailed projects being designed and constructed across the globe, it shows just how much we truly are an industry of professionals. With all of our training (both in school and on the job) we accumulate enough hours to qualify as professionals in many different fields. For young people who are looking for a career, our green professions are no less complex, and I would argue just as important — if not more important than many other professions.

Today’s business model thrives on teamwork. Be it between colleagues within an office or between competitors and counterparts within the profession. The more members I speak to, the more common it seems that members are willing to call upon their competition to learn from them about best practices and also to truly help other members create the best product available for the consumer. Working together as a team is the best way for our industry to clarify to the world that it has become not just one, but multiple professions.

With an ever growing list of professional development classes through LO, it won’t be long before our own staff has more current education and information than we do as managers and owners. This is an excellent way for our teams to realize their potential and relevance to the big picture of where the company or firm is headed.  Since the level of detail in projects continues to improve, it is more important than ever to have specialized team members on staff that are up to speed on the latest technologies, products and guidelines involving those details.

Due to a labour shortage, we often hear from employers that when the right team member comes along, a position is often created in order to hire that person with specific skills. It is much easier to find work for a team member like that than it is to find a team member in general. This also allows the firm to grow and specialize into areas that may not have previously been part of the company’s repertoire. During the last economic downturn we were able to finally find those special skilled team members we were looking for because they had unfortunately fell victim to the economic slowdown.

Really, what all of this means is that working together with an open and honest teamwork policy allows all of us to thrive in our chosen profession and it brings us all forward in the eyes of the consumer. We are on the verge of becoming an indispensable group of professions. The ongoing care and maintenance of sites using sustainable practices is equally as important to the initial planning and implementation.

Wishing you a happy new year and a healthy and prosperous 2016.
Paul Brydges may be reached at paulbrydges.la@sympatico.ca.