Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

March 8, 2021

EIN Green 100 400By Blake Marchand

This past December Jennifer Green was honoured with Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award for the Skilled Trades category by WXN (Women’s Executive Network).

“It is truly an honour to be recognized by WXN and to be among this group of amazing women,” said Green of earning the distinction. “Throughout my career, I’ve worked with many great mentors and team members – to them, I say thank you for always inspiring me. I am absolutely thrilled.”

Green is an industrial mechanic millwright by trade and works with Skills Ontario as Director of Competitions and Young Women’s Initiatives. She is also an Apprenticeship Youth Advisor for the Ministry of Labour.

“Jennifer exemplifies the qualities of a fantastic leader. She is influential, decisive, and an individual of great integrity,” commented Ian Howcroft, CEO of Skills Ontario. “She is a creative thinker and excels in helping us meet our objectives and have a real impact. We are very proud!”

For Green, it was encouraging to see the Skilled Trades category be included in WXN’s Top 100 Award, often these types of awards focus on the C-Suite level.

Green added that it’s a good signifier of the work that has been done and continues to be done across the country in regard to promoting the skilled trades. “Introducing the Skilled Trades category and truly seeing that women in this category are making a huge difference in their community, in their province, in their country,” is an encouraging sign, she said, noting that a number of different industry awards have begun introducing a skilled trades category. Additionally, Green was honoured in 2013 when the Guelph YW/YMCA introduced a skilled trades category to their Women of Distinction Award. She was also recognized by Conestoga College as an Alumni of Distinction, in their skilled trades category. The point Green makes is that having the skilled trades alongside other professions helps to contextualize the skilled trades as a rewarding a lucrative career path.

Green has been an advocate for skilled trades and women in skilled trades since she was a high school student, the recognition from her peers in the industry was uplifting, “I feel like I’m doing a good job and I feel like I am making a difference,” she said, “but to have multiple people in my network agree and feel this award is appropriate, it’s really humbling.”

“It’s exciting to be a part of a network of amazing women who are doing astonishing things in all different categories and sectors,” she added.

Green first got involved with Skills Ontario by becoming a speaker and mentor at their Young Women’s Events, and again by participating in the provincial Skills Ontario Competition while in the third year of her apprenticeship. One of her instructors at Conestoga recommended her to represent the college in the competition and she ended up winning gold in the provincial competition and silver in the national competition as the second women to compete in that contest. Something that had a major impact on her confidence early on as well as her career moving forward.

“It changed my career and earned me instant respect,” she said. Green was hesitant at first because she thought if she didn’t do well it would play into the stereotype of women not belonging in the trades. “I said ‘what if I come in last?’ And they said, ‘what if you come in first?’”

With that in mind and with the confidence of her instructor, Green put in the work to make sure she would be prepared.

“I don’t want to say I no longer had to prove myself – don’t get me wrong, women still have to prove themselves constantly in the trades – but the people that I worked with, the people that knew me, I felt took me more seriously all of the sudden,” she said, which really speaks to the importance and the impact celebrating diversity can have on breaking down stigma/stereotypes.

Her advice to young women pursuing a career in the skilled trades was this: “Find a mentor, find a support network. When I started, they didn’t exist.” 

“Find your group, find the support system because there’s no one to support you better than someone who has been there and can provide you with real, tangible advice.”

“Today – I’m impressed by the amount of support groups and organizations that are out there for women in skilled trades is just so refreshing. Whether it is to a sector, such as Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE), Women in Mining Canada, Women in Nuclear; or specific to an individual trade, such as Women of Powerline Technicians. Those are all support groups, each of them has a network that supports by offering ideas and opportunities.” Green noted that Women of Powerline Technicians recently launched a bursary to support women entering the trade. The federal government has an apprenticeship completion grant specifically for women. Along with industry organizations, government, colleges, individual companies are also making an effort to provide support groups and mentorship programs for their female employees. Green said it’s important for companies to publicize their diversity programs so that people know the resource is there. “Being more public about your diversity programs is going to be able to attract more people to you, knowing you have their back, knowing that you have a system in place already.”

Ultimately, she said, “To see that all the different facets of education, industry, and government working towards the same goals, it shows progress and change in the right direction.”

Green’s experience with Skills Ontario came full circle when she joined the organization as an employee in 2018. Initially she was a keynote speaker and mentor for many years for Skills Ontario as part of their Young Women’s Initiatives starting at the age of 17. At the time she was the first female to sign on as an Ontario Youth Apprenticeship (OYAP) student for her school board, “I stuck out like a sore thumb.” She worked with Skills Ontario as a volunteer for 14 years mentoring, speaking at events, and working with their camp programs; she also co-created the Skills Ontario alumni association as Chair and helped create the national alumni committee with Skills/Compétences Canada, as Chair and Ontario Lead.

Taking on that role was a significant step, not only in that she had been involved with the organization in nearly every other capacity, but it allowed her to take something she was passionate about to the next level.

Now in her current role as Director of Competitions and Young Women’s Initiatives, she said, “One of the things I really love about my job is it literally is my trade, and passion for advocacy smashed into one. I’ve been advocating and promoting my entire career. It’s combined everything into one, and everything I had done with passion as a volunteer, is now my job.”

An important aspect of her role is communication and relationship building, essentially Green said she wants to be a resource for the volunteers, colleges, and industry stakeholders Skills Ontario works with.

“I want to make sure I can get them what they need so processes can be easier for them. Whether it is skilled trades in general or in my role at work, one of the biggest things I pride myself on is communication and the relationships that I build within that network.”

“Having a team and people you can rely on is what really drives something to be positive and successful when it comes to fruition. Your team is your foundation, and we all work together, to be there for each other.”

For Green, leadership is a collaborative effort, making sure the team is supported. “I’m here to help you get to where you want to go, not only in your career but to complete your job and your tasks successfully.”

Green noted that her longevity with the organizations adds that much more to her ability to help the younger generations. “I’ve been there, I know what the programming and the competition did for me as a student. Having that experience and knowing what it can do, for me is a drive in my role as an employee now, to really focus harder and even more on what I can provide and give back.”

“I know how great it was then, so the goal is to continue to make it even better today.”

Changing Scene

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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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“We have moved into a world of budget cuts – more than ever before we’re seeing value engineering on projects, we’re seeing budgets latched, everyone’s doing the bare minimum, at this point, on what needs to be done,” he explained at the top of his presentation, which ultimately puts the focus on being budget friendly when designing lighting control.

 

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Lumenquad New VersionsLumenpulse has announced the release of two additional smaller sizes of the Lumenquad, a rectilinear projector for both outdoor and indoor environments. Developed for architectural applications such as lighting landscapes, highlighting details, pathways and monuments, the Lumenquad Small and Medium are compact, low-wattage, high-performance projectors, complementing the two existing products in the family.

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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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