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Build Your Future Here: NAIT’s Upcoming Advanced Skills Centre

As CLRA members are all too familiar with, the province continues to grapple with a shortage of skilled trades workers, which not only leaves critical construction jobs unfilled but increases the average Albertan’s overall cost of living. To help address this challenge – and create more opportunities for students to enter these high-demand fields – today, the Alberta government announced its investment of $43 million into the design and development of NAIT’s new Advanced Skills Centre (ASC). The ASC will aim to become a global leader in apprenticeship and cutting-edge, technology-based education, focusing on four key sectors: construction, transportation, manufacturing, and energy. During the announcement, Minister of Advanced Education Rajan Sawhney highlighted the ASC’s role in meeting Alberta’s growing economic demands by expressing that “Alberta is leading the way in skills and trades education”. With construction set to begin in 2025, the ASC will add 640,000 square feet of modern learning space to NAIT’s campus. This expansion will allow over 4,000 additional apprentices to graduate from NAIT each year, an institute which already boasts a 30% student representation in full-time apprenticeship and skilled trades programs. This investment in the development of the ASC is crucial for ensuring that Albertans wishing

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Here’s why you should consider the trades:

CLRA Teaming Up with the Edmonton Elks


Skilled workers play an important role in Trans Mountain Pipeline completion

This week, the first tanker filled with oil delivered by the Trans Mountain Pipeline left the Vancouver port for overseas markets. As Canada’s newest pipeline, Trans Mountain is delivering oil from Edmonton based refineries to tidewater in B.C., opening important new Pacific markets for Alberta energy resources, including Washington State, California, South Korean, Japan, China and India. “By providing Alberta with tidewater access to global markets the TMX Pipeline Project will ensure a strong future for our energy sector and continued investment in new energy infrastructure and create well-paying jobs throughout Alberta,” said CLRA President Joe McFadyen. “Our member companies, contractors and workers look forward to ensuring the viability of our province’s energy sector and meeting the energy needs of countries around the world.” Read more here:


CLRA Teaming Up with the Edmonton Elks

CLRA is excited to announce a new partnership with the Edmonton Elks for the 2024 season! This partnership is an important addition to our ongoing efforts to attract more people to work in the skilled trades. Just as we are proud of our local skilled tradespeople and the work they do, we are also proud to support and help build the CFL football community in Edmonton and northern Alberta this year. CLRA is planning events and promotions at all Elks home games this season. We hope you will join us in cheering on the Elks during their 75th season by joining us at one of the tailgate parties at this year’s home games. Further details will be provided in the coming weeks. And whether you are at Commonwealth Stadium or watching on television, look for CLRA’s BuildYourFuture display ads at the games! Elks Football…Our Team Our City!


ATCO project to bring thousands of jobs to Alberta

ATCO Energy Systems announced its plans to launch the Yellowhead Mainline Project, a new energy infrastructure that will expand the capacity and efficiency of Alberta’s natural gas network. It will support energy, petrochemical, building materials and hydrogen projects that use natural gas and carbon-capture technology to produce products with lower emissions than previously possible. The project is expected to create more than 2,000 jobs during construction and will provide gas supply for the more than $20 billion of investment in associated employment in Alberta via its customers, including the Dow Fort Saskatchewan Path2Zero project. “Dow appreciates the partnership with ATCO to supply Dow’s Path2Zero project. Together, these projects will have a profound positive impact on communities, creating jobs and economic opportunity for Alberta,” says Diego Ordonez, President of Dow Canada.

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.”