Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

 

May 19, 2017

Grid

The role young talent plays in driving innovation

By Paul McMullen, Vice-President Canada Business Unit. 

Changing Times

The grid is changing.  The linear approach from generation, transmission, through to distribution has been replaced in favour for a dynamic 2-way flow driven by distributed generation and automation.  The grid has evolved, it is becoming SMART.  An ever-connected world needs reliable power. Climate change requires us to re-think how we generate power, but development comes at a price. 

A lack of qualified engineers results in less people to solve new complex challenges.  The current education system tailored to solve the challenges of the Old Grid, does not prepare new graduates with the skills required to compete in an ever changing distribution industry.  Retirement on a large scale is causing a skill leakage as seasoned engineers with decades of experience walk out of the office and onto the golf course.  Who is there to fill the void? If we don’t plan for the future now, it will soon catch up on us.  



Challenging times ahead

The industry is already feeling the pain from the lack of trained engineers on the job market.  According to Ontario Energy Sector only 14% did not report problems attracting and retaining talent.  That means the remaining 86% have experienced the challenges.  The plus side of this is from the graduate’s point-of-view, job prospects appeared brighter for younger people aged 25-to-34 years according to Ontario society of Professional Engineers (OsPE).  This candidates market means that companies have an additional challenge with hiring new graduates, not only are there less of them, but they have the ability to ask more from their employers.  The challenge becomes, how to we attract the talent, and then keep them engaged and committed to the company?

Young Engineer

New engineering graduates who have just gained their iron ring will solve the challenges that will propel the grid forward.  The challenge they face is that their education does not prepare them for the industry they will enter.  Here industry leaders must take the reins on the professional development of these new graduates to allow them to reach their full potential.  On the job training has never been so important

With an industry-low turnover of less than 1% S&C Electric Canada Ltd. boasts the impressive statistic that 25% of its current team members have been with S&C for 25 years or more.  S&C recognises that the new graduates enter the industry enthusiastic and ready to dive into their careers, but lacking the practical hands on experience to do this.   S&C sees this challenge as an opportunity to nurture the next generation of game changers and at the same time, foster a mutual commitment to the company and its values. 

As an advocate for Daniel H. Pink (author of “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us”), I truly believe that, to engage the next generation of bright thinkers to solve complex challenges, we must strive to:

Support Autonomy—Employers can accomplish this by allowing our team members to work autonomously, and we trust them to manage their own work, direct their own lives, and encourage them to bring new ideas to the table. Management increases compliance, but not engagement. Ergo, micromanaging stifles innovation.

Encourage Mastery—Once team members have found an interest, we challenge them to become a master in that field. We support and coach them to build on interests and cultivate passions, and then empower them to share their skills with less-experienced team members and contribute to the collective knowledge pool.

Develop a Purpose—We need to embrace individuals looking for a sense that what they do serves something meaningful beyond themselves. They are looking for their prospective employers to provide this purpose. Purpose is motivating; that’s what get’s us out of bed in the morning.

Training

S&C’s vision is to “empower people to transform the grid.” So, for more than 100 years, S&C has empowered its workforce to challenge the status quo and become masters of a field they themselves can help develop to drive the grid forward.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

To this end, S&C has a long history of investing in future talent. In one of the latest examples, S&C’s Canada Business has joined forces with Electro-Federation Canada, a national not-for-profit industry association, to offer a student $3,500 scholarship. This year, Electro-Federation Canada’s members will support more than $150,000 awarded across 57 scholarships.

S&C has built its proud 100 year history on innovation, and innovation is driven by people.  S&C is committed to continuing to engage the next generation of young talent to propel the grid forward…are you?

Resources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/danreich/2011/11/09/why-engineering-majors-change-their-minds/#435826312f2e

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/19/canada-immigration-foreign-skilled-workers_n_2293003.html

 

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ABB RoboticsABB Robotics is driving automation in the construction industry with new robotic automation solutions to address key challenges, including the need for more affordable and environmentally friendly housing and to reduce the environmental impact of construction, amidst a labor and skills shortage.

Robotic automation offers huge potential to enhance productivity, efficiency and manufacturing flexibility throughout the construction industry, including automating the fabrication of modular homes and building components off-site, robotic welding and material handling on building sites and robot 3D printing of houses and customized structures. 



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Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 permit....no record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion

 


 

Smart GridHarnessing Canada’s immense clean energy resources requires transformational investments to modernize our electricity grid. The Government of Canada is investing in renewable energy and upgrading the electricity grid to make clean, affordable electricity options more accessible in communities across Canada.

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, today launched a $964-million program to support smart renewable energy and grid modernization projects that will lower emissions by investing in clean energy technologies, like wind, solar, storage, hydro, geothermal and tidal.

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Trilliant Partners with the City of CowansvilleThe City of Cowansville in south-central Quebec is the largest city in the Brome-Missisquoi region, with more than 15,000 residents. Despite being a smaller-sized city, it is known as an economic and industrial hub.

It also has a strong focus on innovation and efficiency — as demonstrated by decisions such as the one it made in 2017 to use beet juice to help combat icy winter roads, allowing the City to reduce the amount of salt it was using, thereby saving money and decreasing the impact on the environment. 

 

 

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Keith SonesBy Keith Sones

The writing was on the wall.  The closures would happen. But a lot of people were upset, and I was one of them. 

In the early 2000s, my family and I were living in a mainly rural (at least by city dweller standards) valley in south central British Columbia.  The West Kootenay region is known for its diverse outdoor recreation activities and as a great place to raise a family.  It has a proud industrial history, evidenced through the longstanding pulp mill, a massive lead zinc smelter a few miles away and several hydroelectric dams, all of it within spitting distance of the mighty Columbia River. 

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The Lumenquad Small and Medium are the latest additions to a family of sleek, elegant, high-performance projectors that has already been validated with honours, including recognition in the PIA Awards in 2019, together with a Lux Awards for Exterior Luminaire of the Year in 2019. 

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The grips feature a slip guard handle design for added protection at the front-end and raised rear-finger steps for easy opening at the back-end. Wiha Insulated SoftFinish® Cushion Grip Pliers and Cutters consist of premium quality tool steel for strength and durability and induction hardened cutting edges and jaws for superior sharpness and longevity. 

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House of Electrical SuppliesFrom small construction to sophisticated industrial projects, House of Electrical Supplies has been servicing clients in the industrial, OEM, entertainment, and construction markets across the Greater Toronto Area for just over 40 years. The company has earned a reputation for providing a high-quality customer experience.

As per President Austin Brennan, their experienced and knowledgeable team can be depended upon in any situation to deliver quick and efficient service. On top of their product solutions — ranging from electrical, automation, safety, lighting and portable power distribution — 

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