Every year people say wow, “I cannot believe its almost the new year”. This year I say wow, I cannot believe the BCEA is 95 years strong! It’s been a breakthrough year for the BCEA, and we have lots to celebrate in 2019.
There were three events I would really like to highlight from 2019. The first was the Victoria golf and trade show. One of the ongoing goals of the Board has been to support and promote our regions activities. It’s been over 8 years since we had our last regional tradeshow so we were not quite sure how it would work out. But after working with the local committee, I realized very quickly that the community in Victoria is very strong with amazing members who put on one amazing event. The industry came out to support our manufacturers and the results showed one of the best showings in over a decade. Moving forward we will be organizing an annual golf tournament in Victoria every May and the regional product show will begin to rotate between the regions in its new format.
We have a very strong community in the Kelowna area and are working with members in the north to see what we can do help to bring the community together!
Immediately following the Victoria show the Board of directors met for their biennial strategic planning session. The board held a very different session this year where they focused on the industry as a whole and its needs as opposed to the needs of the BCEA. What they heard from members and the industry is that we need to promote this great place we all work in. The BCEA U40 group has done an outstanding job representing our industry at career and job fairs. They realized that there is a lack of understanding on what exactly the ‘electrical industry’ is all about. The assumption is often a trade only community. So, the number one objective was to promote the electrical industry as whole and the great jobs available to those looking for a career. If you haven’t seen the video promoting jobs in our industry, I encourage you to find the video by searching the BCEA and locating the “Careers in the Electrical Industry” video. Watch it, share it, promote it within you network! Watch for the next video on electrical manufacturers.
But what I am most proud of is the THRIVE summit held in early October 2019. The summit was originally organized by the BCEA women’s network after 5 years of researching the needs of the industry. We soon realized that it wasn’t just to promote women in the industry but promote diversity as whole. There were several topics presented from digitalization, social conscience, mentoring, and diversity in the workplace. The results from this summit will help educate the industry on several issues such as:
- HR Issues (role clarity/procedures)
- Talent acquisition
- Education (Professional/Personal)
- Management inclusion
- Growth/Career Pathing
- Job Support
- Company Culture (sharing strategies company wide)
The committee is already working on a three-phase plan to help tackle issues and concerns of those within our membership. Phase one will be to start on the low hanging fruit and make readily available information, available to our members through our website and our newsletter. We will continue to hold seminars and summits with key speakers in 2020 to bring awareness to on going issues and challenges that were outlined in our roundtables and surveys.
Phase two will start in early 2020 by inviting members onto a task force to help develop or provide the right platform for inclusion, buy in, focused recruitment, network/company support, and mentoring to name a few.
Phase three looks at focusing on advocacy needs, human resources issues, ethics and inclusion, the role of the BCEA or the role of our members within the community. As well as showcasing what our members are already doing to tackle some of these issues.
There is a lot of work to be done and I am excited to get started and continue the momentum. We have great people that work in this industry and I believe together we can make this a better place for everyone to work in.
At the end of the day, this goes back to the BCEA’s strategic goal of promoting the industry and the jobs available in the industry. The BCEA will continue to hold our networking events because that is the key to keeping strong relationships alive.
We have lots of work ahead of us but together we can make a difference. I encourage each and every one of you to get involved and volunteer. The industry has been good to many of us and we need to give back to the future employees! Give them a reason to stay and give them a reason to be a part of the electrical industry.
Barbette I. Igonia, CAE
President & CEO
BC Electrical Association