Status: Active until summer of 2020
Ministry responsible: Advanced Education
The Skills for Jobs Task Force has been appointed to find ways to expand and strengthen apprenticeship education and skilled trades opportunities to meet labour demands.
Business and industry are facing significant labour shortages as nearly 45,000 skilled workers are set to retire over the next 10 years.
The task force will also work with industry, educators and trades professionals to help more people recognize that becoming a skilled tradesperson opens the door to respected, well-paying careers.
The task force will provide recommendations on ways to:
- increase awareness of the value of skilled trades careers and strengthen enrolment in apprenticeship programs
- change student and public perception so apprenticeship education is seen to be as valuable as a university degree
- expand the apprenticeship model to other careers and occupations
The task force will submit a preliminary report to the Advanced Education minister by summer 2020, followed by a full public report later that year.
Task force members
The 21-member task force includes representatives from industry, labour, community agencies, and education leaders in both K-12 and post-secondary.
Glenn Feltham, Co-Chair, president and CEO, NAIT
Under Glenn Feltham’s leadership since 2011, NAIT continues to help strengthen Alberta’s economy by providing practical, technology-based education to students and building partnerships with industry. Glenn continues to work tirelessly to help build economic prosperity through skills development. He holds various educational and professional designations, including a master of business administration from the University of Montana and a PhD from the University Of Waterloo School Of Accountancy.
David Ross, Co-Chair, president and CEO, SAIT
David Ross joined SAIT in 2013. Under his leadership, SAIT has become internationally recognized for its hands-on, action-based approach to learning and focus on collaboration with partners. He is an experienced leader in post-secondary education, and lends his expertise as a board member for several community foundations and associations. David holds a PhD from the University of Nebraska, a master of aquaculture from Simon Fraser University, and a master of business administration from Dalhousie University.
Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk, MLA, Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville, and chair of the Alberta Skilled Trades Caucus
Prior to her election in April 2019, Jackie owned and operated a small business in Vegreville for nearly 35 years. As a certified journeyperson, she understands the rewards and fulfilment that can come with a career in the trades. Jackie has been a volunteer and active member of the Vegreville business community, including roles with the Vegreville Rotary Club, the Vegreville & District Chamber of Commerce and the Vegreville Economic Development Board.
Brad Bagnall, instructor, Trades Centre of Excellence, Bowness High School
Brad is a Construction and Trades Centre of Excellence teacher at Bowness High School in Calgary. He has spent nearly 12 years teaching for the Calgary Board of Education in junior high and high school construction shops. He builds a large variety of projects with his students to help familiarize them with career possibilities in the skilled trades, and to expose them to real-world applications of their knowledge. Brad works directly with Bowness High School’s partners in the construction industry to deliver this programming. From playhouses to cabinets and cutting boards, the project work completed by his students all relates to different skillsets desired of workers in the construction and manufacturing trades.
j’Amey Bevan, chair, Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board
As a journeyperson, j’Amey is a passionate advocate for apprenticeship education and trades mastery. In addition to her work with the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board, j’Amey currently serves as a director on the Alberta Workplace Essential Skills Board and the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum Board, as well as the chair of the Interprovincial Alliance of Board Chairs of Canada. She has earned a boilermaker certificate with a Red Seal endorsement, as well as an Achievement in Business Competencies Program (Blue Seal) certificate and a master of arts in leadership through Royal Roads University.
Stuart Cullum, president, Olds College
As president of Olds College, Stuart works to strengthen the college’s leadership role in Alberta’s evolving and innovative agriculture sector. He has a wealth of executive experience in private industry and the finance, post-secondary and not-for-profit sectors. He holds bachelors degrees in arts and education from the University of Lethbridge and a master of business administration from the University of Alberta, as well as various other academic certifications.
Ann Everatt, president and CEO, Northern Lakes College
Ann is passionate about adult learning, and has a long and distinguished career in post-secondary leadership. Prior to taking the helm at Northern Lakes College, she served as vice-president academic at Keyano College in Fort McMurray and vice-president of college services at Northern College in Timmins, Ontario. Ann attended the University of Ottawa and Concordia University, and pursued graduate studies at Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C.
Shane Getson, MLA, Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland, and member of the Alberta Skilled Trades Caucus
Prior to his election in April 2019, Shane spent 15 years in the construction industry, most recently in the position of project director. He also worked as a senior manager of planning and execution for an energy company from 2008 to 2012. Shane holds a diploma in civil engineering technology from NAIT.
Laura Jo Gunter, president and CEO, Bow Valley College
Under Laura’s leadership, Bow Valley College works to ensure students receive the skills they need to be productive in the workforce and adaptive to industry challenges. Throughout her career, Laura has held progressively senior roles in both academic institutions and the private sector, and has served on several academic boards. She holds a bachelor of journalism degree from Carleton University, and a master of business administration from Queen's University.
Paul Heyens, CEO, Alberta Glass
Paul is the past-chair of the Alberta Construction Association and a past member of the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board, which oversees trade certification through work experience, technical training, and on-the-job training in order to continue a strong workforce within Alberta. He attended SAIT as an apprentice glazier and worked in the industry until registering his company in 1999. He has worked on such iconic buildings as Calgary’s Bankers Hall and the Bow.
Dave King, dean, School of Trades and Technology, Lakeland College
As an experienced tradesperson and instructor, Dave uses his wealth of knowledge to help students at Lakeland College build their skills and begin successful careers. Dave is a certified automotive service technician and heavy equipment technician, and currently serves on the board of directors for Skills Canada Alberta.
Ray Massey, president, Skills Canada Alberta
Ray is a lifelong champion of apprenticeship education. His interest in the skilled trades led to a Red Seal as a journeyperson painter and decorator. As a business owner, Ray was always eager to apprentice new workers and help others develop their skills and build successful careers. He continues to lead by example, and has served on the boards of several apprenticeship and trades organizations, including as chair of the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board.
Andy Neigel, president and CEO, CAREERS: the Next Generation
As president and CEO of CAREERS: the Next Generation, Andy and his team lead the non-profit organization in its mission of supporting youth career development and cultivating a skilled workforce. Throughout his career, Andy has held leadership roles with a variety of industry organizations and committees. He holds a diploma in forest technology from NAIT and a bachelor of science in forestry from the University of Alberta.
Terry O’Flynn, president and founding partner, Prism Flow Products Inc.
For decades, Terry has been supporting Alberta’s oil and gas industry and the community. He has served on several boards and fundraising initiatives, including the Alberta Alpine Ski Association, the Canadian National Ski Team and the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, as well as the boards of the Edmonton Eskimos and the Jerry Forbes Centre for Community Spirit. A 32-year resident of Beaumont, Terry is the long-time co-chair of the Mustard Seed golf tournament.
Terry Parker, executive director, Building Trades of Alberta
Prior to serving as the executive director of the Building Trades of Alberta, Terry was the executive director of the Saskatchewan Building Trades Council for twelve years. Terry has worked as a glazier and as a business agent for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. His extensive time in leadership roles has given him a wealth of experience in the unionized construction and maintenance industries. Terry is a graduate of the University of Manitoba, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science.
Dennis Perrin, Alberta and prairies director, Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC)
Dennis provides oversight and support for CLAC’s operations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Dennis began his career with CLAC in 2008, and has worked in its Edmonton, Fort McMurray, and Saskatoon offices. Dennis is now based in Edmonton and holds a bachelor of science degree in biology and environmental studies from The King’s University in Edmonton. He is a former member of the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board, and is passionate about the skilled trades. He’s worked closely with like-minded organizations such as Skills Canada and the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum to advance the skilled trades a viable and necessary career path.
Amanda Rosychuk, senior vice-president, Drainage Services, EPCOR, and vice-chair, Women Building Futures
Since joining Women Building Futures in 2015, Amanda has helped the organization achieve its mandate of empowering women to enter skilled trades. Amanda’s background in engineering, construction, operations, information technology, human resources and government affairs serves her well in her current role as senior vice-president of Drainage Services at EPCOR. She holds a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from the University of Alberta and is a graduate of the executive masters of business administration program.
Tony Tomkiewych, presiding officer, Provincial Apprenticeship Committee-Industrial Mechanic (Millwright)
As a member of the Provincial Apprenticeship Committee since 2012, Tony helps improve Alberta’s apprenticeship and industry training system. Tony is certified in the industrial mechanic (millwright) trade, and holds an interprovincial Red Seal endorsement. He is an active skilled tradesperson with Pembina Pipeline Corporation.
Paul Verhesen, president and CEO, Clark Builders
Under Paul’s leadership, Clark Builders has grown to one of the top general contractors in Canada. A strategic leader, Paul values innovation, technology and continuous improvement. He is a past board member on the Canadian Construction Association and past chair of the Edmonton Construction Association. Paul holds a bachelor of science in civil engineering and maintains his Professional Engineering Certification with APEGA.
Colin Ward, chief operating officer, Ward Bros. Construction Ltd.
As chief operating officer at Ward Bros. Construction Ltd., Colin leads one of the largest general contracting and consultation management businesses in Southern Alberta. Colin joined Ward Bros. Construction after graduating from the civil engineering technology program at Lethbridge College. Throughout his career, he has had significant board experience, having served on the Alberta Construction Safety Association, Economic Development Lethbridge, Lethbridge College Foundation, Lethbridge Construction Association, as well as the Alberta Construction Association, which he chaired in 2011-12.
Jason Wright, director, Education & Apprenticeship, Sheet Metal Workers Local 8 and president, Building Trades of Alberta Training Society
A sheet metal journeyperson who also holds a Red Seal, Jason has worked across western Canada in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors, and as an educator. He is currently the director of education and apprenticeship for the Sheet Metal Workers International Association in Alberta and is active in training, coaching and tutoring apprentices in multiple disciplines. He is a national construction safety officer and a certified Oil Sands Safety Association instructor, sits on several provincial and national trades boards, and collaborates with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training to improve and enhance legislation, curriculum and exams for new and changing trades.
- Task force to strengthen skilled trades education (Sept. 25, 2019)
Connect with the Skills for Jobs Task Force: