Sawchuk Developments Co. Ltd. has been providing general contracting services throughout the Okanagan Valley and BC Interior since 1981. We stopped by one of their sites on the UBCO Kelowna campus in the Mountain Weather Office to chat with Shane Mosley, Sawchuk’s Manager of Human Resources after he hired Jamie Dickinson, a carpenter and STEP participant. Here’s what he had to say about working with STEP.
Why did you reach out to STEP?
SM: “This year with the shortage of tradespeople, we reached out to STEP and met with STEP REPS Sharon. Sharon was great. She interviewed me and wanted to know what our needs were. Sharon shared with me the opportunities she was getting of workers coming in through her. I told her anything you get, we’ll look at. We had our first experience with Jamie, who is a carpenter, and we went from there.”
What was your initial reaction to STEP’s services?
SM: “The resumes are really well done. They’re set up in a way that’s very familiar for the construction industry to highlight the technical skills of the individual. STEP is an important resource because they’re helping us with the pre-screening and so on, getting us good candidates and good resumes for me to look at.”
How were you introduced to STEP?
SM: “I’ve been familiar with STEP for six years because I was on the Board of Directors for the Southern Interior Construction Association. With my involvement there, we’d always hear about the BCCA and about STEP, so we were familiar with it.”
How has the Skilled Trades Employment Program (STEP) helped your company?
SM: “Well certainly our team is important. We have 66 guys working in the field right now. Many of them are skilled tradesmen, journeymen carpenters, which Jamie is as well. That was important to us. The skill level he brings is important to us in the finishing end which is what we’re doing in this job where he’s working.
The skill levels coming through STEP are very important to us. We want the higher end people, but we’re also a supporter of the apprenticeship program with ITA. We have 12 apprentices right now and we recognize we’re not going to get all journeypersons coming to us. The process all together, integrated together, works well with STEP and where we’re at in our organization right now.”
Would you recommend STEP to others?
SM: “Although they’re competitors in our industry, of course I would recommend STEP to them. STEP is smooth. They gave us a good candidate. I think it’s a good opportunity to get some skills into the organization.
We look forward to working with STEP in the future. Any time we can work with them and they can help us, they’re an important resource.”