Orillia and District Construction Association forges relationships as it creates opportunities for members

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    Ontario Construction Report special feature

    The Orillia and District Construction Association (ODCA) continues to forge new relationships across the broader industry spectrum, while creating opportunities and responding to member interests.

    In 2015 the ODCA co-ordinated a member survey. Based on the responses of the 75 per cent of members who completed the survey, earlier this year the association released its 2016-2017 strategic plan. The survey identified that members’ top three interests are networking, business promotion and information.

    Based on that, ODCA identified several key goals for the year ahead: To provide quality networking opportunities; to promote the local construction industry, related industries and members; to advocate at local and regional levels on issues of importance; to keep members informed on changes in legislation, training, trends and issues; and to support the broader Orillia community. Thus far, these goals have been implemented in a variety of ways.

    The ODCA once again partnered with the Orillia Manufacturers’ Association (OMA) in September to present the Explore the Trades event. For the third time, according to a media release announcing the event, secondary school students were provided a venue to “explore opportunities in the trades at a time when they are trying to determine which career path they should take.”

    Students had the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge of skilled trades careers. Exhibitors “dressed the part” and engaged students through parts, components, finished products, displays and interactive tools to showcase various aspects of each trade.

    The two groups also co-operated in offering two local students $3,000 in scholarships. The Orillia Packet quoted ODCA president Craig Basaraba as saying: “Our association and our members understand the importance of promoting careers in the trades. We want to support these local students and show them the career opportunities that are available right here in their own backyard.”

    Executive administrator Meagan Hawkins says ODCA is always working as well with local municipalities, building and developing relationships. “We invite members of the surrounding municipalities to our local dinner meetings, and give them the opportunity to speak to the members.”

    She says ODCA is also working closely with one of its members – Construction Workplace Safety – to provide safety training options, along with a safety minute at most dinner meetings.

    The association has also retained dinner meeting speakers who cover topics ranging from building code changes to bankruptcy, collections, and energy efficiency.

    Always active in the local community, Hawkins said ODCA has put out an open call for community initiatives which it then narrowed and reviewed with members. “This year we selected Camp Couchiching in Orillia to build a privacy fence and interior kitchen for the campers in their new community hub.”

    The hub, constructed by ODCA members and their families, provides a drop off and meeting place at the camp, as well as a program space that will be valuable in cases of inclement weather. During the camp’s off-season, it is expected the space would be available for rentals and service groups.

    Hawkins said ODCA will soon be seeking nominations for its 2017 board of directors, president and vice-president, providing a great opportunity for members to get involved and influence the association’s future direction.

    For more information, visit http://www.orilliaconstruction.ca.

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