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Calgary Stampede and the Trades

Yahoo! This past week has been a whirlwind of cowboy hats, rodeo, pancakes, and meet and greets at the 2024 Calgary Stampede – otherwise known as the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth! Remarkably, despite the soaring temperatures, more than half a million people have visited the Stampede so far this year. Beyond the adrenaline rush, the Stampede is about coming together as a greater community. It’s a chance to meet new friends, reconnect with old ones, and celebrate the values of hard work, perseverance, and camaraderie that define life in Alberta and western Canada. These values not only define our province, but our diligent tradespeople and booming construction sector as well. Given the ongoing shortage of skilled trades workers, there has never been a more opportune moment to consider pursing a career in the trades. CLRA agrees with the Minister of Advanced Education – Minister Rajan Sawhney – that it’s never too early or too late to pursue an apprenticeship in some of Alberta’s most in-demand trades. If you’re enjoying the Stampede this week, be sure to drop by the Apprenticeship and Industry Training booth (Booth #2039) at the BMO Centre to learn more about training and apprenticeship opportunities in

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Here’s why you should consider the trades:

CLRA Teaming Up with the Edmonton Elks



Introduction To Pipe Trades Graduation

Construction Labour Relations Alberta attended the Educational Partnership Foundation’s (TEPF)’s “Introduction to Pipe Trades” graduation ceremony last month in Edmonton. Around the same time, other graduation ceremonies were held for future electricians, millwrights, ironworkers, carpenters, and those specializing in finishing trades, each class holding about 10-12 students. Through its presence on the Workforce Development Trust board, CLRA has partnered with TEPF, Alberta Pipe Trades College, Building Trades of Alberta, and others to fund $2.2M for this program since 2017. The Pipefitters Local Union 488 also provided resources to TEPF to facilitate this program. This initiative has enabled students to complete this training free of cost (around $5,000 per student). Closing ceremonies for these promising future tradespeople will be ongoing this month, including the Boilermaker graduations in both Edmonton and Calgary on July 19th. CLRA wishes each of these grads a bright future and a promising career in a field that is greatly needed across Alberta.


Arnold Rumbold: Honorary Electrical Installations Technology Diploma Recipient

Arnold Rumbold, a retired electrician and philanthropist, was a recipient of the 2024 Honorary Electrical Installations Technology Diploma at NAIT’s convocation ceremony last week. He’s a man who has embodied a lifelong passion for the skilled trades. His career as a master electrician and later as an esteemed estimator in the construction industry demonstrate both his technical prowess and entrepreneurial spirit. Beyond his professional achievements, Rumbold and his wife Grace are committed philanthropists. NAIT holds a special place in Rumbold’s philanthropic efforts, with the establishment of scholarships and bursaries aimed at supporting students in the trades, including initiatives that encourage female apprenticeship in traditionally male-dominated fields. Reflecting on his journey from rural beginnings to professional success, Rumbold emphasizes the importance of giving back and supporting others, inspired by his own upbringing and the opportunities he seized along the way. Arnold Rumbold’s story is a testament to the transformative power of education, innovation, and community support, highlighting how a passion for learning and a dedication to philanthropy can shape lives and communities for the better. CLRA congratulates Arnold on receiving his Electrical Installations Technology diploma. Learn more about Arnold Rumbold here.


Alberta’s Economic Outlook: Navigating Towards Growth in 2024 and Beyond

ATB recently released its quarterly economic analysis, providing wide-ranging insights into GDP, inflation, population and employment rates, and touching on sectors like agriculture, construction, and energy on both a provincial and national level. Over the past year, the province felt the bite of economic challenges caused by high interest rates, slower energy sector growth, and agriculture sector setbacks due to drought. However, ATB reports that Alberta is poised to rebound in 2025, driven by improvements in energy market access, stronger home construction, and meaningful expansion in the hydrocarbon and petrochemical manufacturing sector. Alberta’s economy has key tailwinds propelling it forward, with growth projections indicating a real GDP increase of 2.5% in 2024 and 2.7% in 2025, soundly outpacing the national average. This resurgence is marked by a shift towards multifaceted growth across sectors. Despite energy investment remaining below pre-2014 levels, expansions in sectors like hydrogen, biofuels, food manufacturing, and petrochemicals are contributing to economic vitality. Emerging industries such as technology, aviation, tourism, and film are also gaining traction, underscoring Alberta’s adaptability and potential for innovation. As evidenced by a 28% increase in building permits in early 2024, home construction is significantly driving growth, with residential investment projected to surge as

Excerpt: Board Chair's New Year Message to Members

“Over the next several months, much of our association’s focus for that work will be advocacy with the provincial government and with other industry stakeholders. Politics in Alberta have changed dramatically and permanently over the last decade. As a result, we have work to do to raise awareness about CLRA with decision-makers and influencers in government.

“We have important messages to deliver on your behalf about the value of the collective agreements we’ve signed with the skilled trade unions, about the value CLRA offers to government efforts to attract investment and workers to Alberta, about the need for more predictable and stable investments in the construction industry, trades education and workforce retention, about the impact of potential changes to labour legislation, workplace safety regulations and building codes, and about the need to attract and recruit more people to our industry from underrepresented groups including women, LGBTQ2S+ and Indigenous people.

“As Chair, my only ask of our members this year is to support these efforts.”