ECAO Awarded $1.7 Million to Provide DEI Training

EIN 39 CS ECAO logo 400

June 2, 2022

The Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario (ECAO) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded Skills Development Funding of $1.7 million from the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. Ontario’s Skills Development Program bolsters ground-breaking training and development projects that upskill workers and prepare job seekers for meaningful work in their communities.

Eligibility for this second round of funding was expanded to allow a wider range of organizations including Indigenous skills and employment training centres, social service administration boards and hospitals, among many others, to help provide more people with the training needed to fill the expected shortage of skilled workers in Ontario.

The investment, which supports several industry organizations, will enable ECAO to provide its 500+ unionized electrical contracting firms a yearlong Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) training program designed to improve workplace practices, boost performance and change the culture of the electrical communications, construction and maintenance industry. ECAO is partnering with Leadership Surge, a growing force in corporate training and development with a particular focus in the construction and subcontracting trade industries, to facilitate its DEI program.

“The entire construction industry is facing significant challenges as a result of not having a diverse, qualified pool of skilled workers,” said R. Graeme Aitken, ECAO Executive Director. “Diversity is certainly a hot topic for many reasons, but it truly is one of the most critical solutions to our systemic labour shortage. We’re so appreciative of the support of Minister McNaughton and the Skills Development Fund so we may further empower our member companies to transform their cultures by creating work environments that are welcoming to everyone in the Province of Ontario.”

This second round of funding brings Ontario’s total investment in the Skills Development Fund to more than $200 million. The Fund was designed to support fresh ideas for training and skills development that will help keep our economy open and make our workforce more resilient. Other organizations are receiving support from the Skills Development Fund to accommodate trainees and workers with disabilities including travel costs for people who require mobility support. Employers can receive up to $5,000 per job placement if they support a trainee with a disability.

ECAO and IBEW members who want to participate in Leadership Surge training and development are encouraged to contact Cathy Frederickson at cfrederickson@ecao.org

To learn more about ECAO’s DEI program, click here for a message from Alex Willis, founder of Leadership Surge. For more information on the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, visit their website at https://www.ontario.ca/page/ministry-labour-training-skillsdevelopment. For more on ECAO, visit https://www.ecao.org.

Related Articles


Latest Articles


Changing Scene

  • Federal Government Invests $1.2B to Build 84,500 EV Chargers by 2027

    Federal Government Invests $1.2B to Build 84,500 EV Chargers by 2027

    From mining, to manufacturing, to charging, Canadian businesses and workers are attracting historic investments in the electric vehicle (EV) supply chain. When electric vehicles are made from Canadian minerals, assembled by Canadian auto workers, and powered at Canadian-made chargers, we secure and create jobs, grow our economy, and keep our air clean now and into the future. Read More…

  • Applications Open for Nova Scotia Power’s 2023 Scholarship and Bursary Program 

    Applications Open for Nova Scotia Power’s 2023 Scholarship and Bursary Program 

    Applications are now open for Nova Scotia Power’s 2023 Scholarship and Bursary Program, and Nova Scotian students are encouraged to apply. The program is accepting applications until April 19, 2023. As part of its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy, Nova Scotia Power is focused on supporting programs and initiatives that help remove barriers, advance DE&I education and awareness in Nova Scotian communities. Read More…

  • BCUC Approves Deferral Account for FortisBC’s Electric Vehicle Workplace and Fleet Charging Funding Program

    BCUC Approves Deferral Account for FortisBC’s Electric Vehicle Workplace and Fleet Charging Funding Program

    Recently, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) approved FortisBC Inc.’s (FBC) application for a new deferral account to enable funding to organizations for the purchase and installation of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. Through FBC’s EV Workplace and Fleet Charging Funding Program, eligible organizations can request a one-time FBC funded contribution of $1,920 per Level 2 EV Charger, capped at seven chargers per site. Read More…

  • Parliamentary Secretary Julie Dabrusin Announces New EV Chargers in B.C. and New Single Window for ZEV Infrastructure Applications

    Parliamentary Secretary Julie Dabrusin Announces New EV Chargers in B.C. and New Single Window for ZEV Infrastructure Applications

    Reducing pollution from the transportation sector is critical to Canada achieving its climate targets. That’s why the Government of Canada is making it more affordable for Canadians to purchase, charge and drive electric vehicles (EV) across the country. Recently, Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, launched a new, integrated, federal zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) infrastructure landing page. Read More…