Annual Canadian Construction Association tour gets a makeover

The annual Canadian Construction Association (CCA) Tour undertaken by the association’s chair needs a slight revamp to better serve the industry’s changing landscape, suggests the association’s recent past-chair.

“We need to be more current and play more of a listening role to see if we can pick up emerging trends that are coming from our members at the grassroots (level),” said Dee Miller, who chaired the association last year.

“As our tour went on (in 2011) our presentations took on a more current tone. Some associations or members do not go to the conferences we go to. We tried to include more economic data because they do not necessarily have that information.”

Each year, the chair is tasked with taking on the CCA Tour, which is a tour of members and partner associations geared to help the association learn first-hand their concerns and views on the hot issues of the day, explained Miller.

She made her comments during the recent CCA conference.

The CCA’s new chair is John Schubert.

Miller noted that among the topics discussed regularly during the 2011 CCA tour were:

increasing foreign or out-of-province competition and the different business practices that come with those outside firms;

larger project values/sizes often due to bundling;

changing project delivery/procurement practices;

labour supply/capacity challenges.

During the CCA Tour’s stop with the Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) in October 2011, Miller and Michael Atkinson, association president, were present during that association’s strategic planning session.

“Participants were asked to identify what they believed to be the chief issues and objectives that should be addressed in the new CANS strategic plan,” reported Miller.

“It was somewhat reassuring that in Nova Scotia the items in their strategic planning sessions were absolutely bang on with everything we were working on,” she explained.

“That reinforced that we are going in the right direction.”

As the 2011 tour continued, the CCA modified their presentations.

“We tried to bring more economic data both provincially and nationally because grassroots stakeholders do not necessarily attend our conferences and do not hear about those trends and what is happening,” explained Miller.

A taskforce has been created by the CCA to focus on board governance which includes taking a closer look at the tour.

Strategic objectives and resource allocation for the tour will be looked at and maybe even more CCA executive committee members will be enlisted in order to cover more turf during the tour, added Miller.

The like-minded major points between the CANS and CCA strategic plans were advocacy, government relations, lobbying, promotion of best/standard practices, communication and foreign competition.

The CCA’s new strategic plan, for the next three years, has objective areas concerning advocacy, best practices, communications, partnership, membership retention and growth, advanced business practices and organization capacity.