The Bridge to Construction graduation took place on Monday, June 17th in the Atrium at Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia. This event celebrated another step towards one of the goals in Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia’ Strategic Plan: Integrating clients more quickly. The Bridge to Construction is a pilot project funded by the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration. Ten refugee clients participated over 6 weeks in language and safety training to prepare for applying for and entering union positions in construction companies in various trades.
At the graduation, Claudette Legault, Director of Programs and Services, welcomed the successful clients and thanked the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration for their confidence in this pilot project. Also in attendance and instrumental in moving this pilot project forward were Trent Soholt from the Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council, Walter MacDonald from JATF who trained the clients in Fall Protection, Confined Spaces and WHMIS, and Sarah Parker from St. John Ambulance who taught Emergency First Aid and CPR/AED. Everyone spoke highly of the dedication and hard work that the participants put in to this opportunity. Both Walter and Sarah said how well the participants learned the material and how impressed they were.
Mohja Alia, manager of Employment and Bridging, and Jayne Geldart, manager of Community Language and Skills thanked all those who collaborated in and supported this vision. Among those were Monica Sayegh who coordinated the Employment Series, language training, safety and first aid training, support from employment specialists and practice interviews for the clients and Arleigh Hood, the EAL instructor who taught them the safety vocabulary and communication skills to name a few.
Monica and Arleigh handed out certificates to the very excited participants, who were also given boxes with their personal protective equipment and were thrilled to try on their hard hats and construction vests.
To add to the excitement of the day, three of the Bridge to Construction participants learned that they were offered jobs! The other seven clients will have interviews with construction unions next week. Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia is very proud of their success and we wish them all the best!