Opening the door to career opportunities

Photo courtesy LiUNA Local 837

Enbridge sponsors Aboriginal training-to-employment program with LiUNA Local 837 in southern Ontario

Whether they’re hard skills or soft skills, they’re all valuable tools of the trade.

This spring, the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) Local 837, based in Hamilton, ON, will be leading an Aboriginal training-to-employment program in southern Ontario. Over six weeks, the program will offer skills training and union membership for 16 members of the nearby Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation (MNCFN) communities.

“It’s a pretty intense six weeks,” notes Nick Ciccone, training director with LiUNA Local 837. “There’s a lot to learn, both theoretical and practical—and it definitely opens the door to opportunity.”

The 16 participants will learn a wide variety of hard and soft skills—including oxy-acetylene cutting and burning; health and safety certification; forklift, skidsteer loader and mini excavator operation; chainsaw safety; hoisting and rigging; and standard first aid—along with introductory pipeline-specific training, such as ground disturbance, cribbing and fencing.

“It’s a win-win for everybody involved,” says Ciccone.

Enbridge is sponsoring this one-time Aboriginal training-to-employment program with LiUNA, as we’ve done with similar initiatives in the past.

Through projects like our proposed Line 10 Westover Segment Replacement Project in the Hamilton area, we’re committed to providing training and employment to members of Aboriginal and Native American communities—while, at the same time, creating meaningful opportunities for Aboriginal businesses.

Enbridge’s 2015 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) & Sustainability Report, released Thursday, details the work we’re doing to develop mutually beneficial relationships with Aboriginal and Native American communities near our projects and operations. In 2015:

  • We spent more than $63 million on procuring goods and services from Aboriginal businesses, contractors and suppliers in Canada.
  • We provided more than $800,000 in community development funding to Aboriginal communities across Canada; and
  • We funded $126,000 worth of Aboriginal scholarships and bursaries across Canada.

In Ontario, we continue to engage with Aboriginal communities through a variety of partnerships and projects. Examples include:

  • Supporting environmental training for MNFCN archaeological and environmental field monitors on the Line 10 project, so that these monitors have a stronger understanding of sacred plant-based medicines;
  • Sponsoring the construction of a solar energy facility on the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, near Sarnia, with project materials and services being supplied by an Aboriginal-owned business;
  • Working openly with interested First Nations on Enbridge Gas Distribution’s GTA Project in metro Toronto, by facilitating and funding their participation in archaeological work plans;
  • Exploring Aboriginal economic development opportunities through events like the recent Métis Nation of Ontario Collaboration Forum in Toronto;
  • Supporting local emergency response organizations through our Safe Community program. In 2015, we provided more than $110,000 in equipment, training and education to 10 Aboriginal first responder organizations in Ontario and Quebec.

“We’re committed to sharing our success with the communities where we operate,” says Sonia Fazari, an Ontario-based senior Aboriginal Relations advisor with Enbridge, “and we work to maintain an open, honest and respectful dialogue with Aboriginal groups and communities.”