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Giving back, centennial style

The Calgary Construction Association (CCA) has established the first endowed student award in honour of SAIT's Centennial. The endowment will provide two new scholarships for School of Construction students in perpetuity. It's not surprising that an industry that has employed thousands of SAIT grads to help build Calgary over the last century has established a scholarship fund to mark SAIT's milestone birthday.

"Education is the cornerstone of building our community," says Dave Smith, President of the Calgary Construction Association. "We've been involved with SAIT's student awards program for more than three decades and we keep adding to the number of awards. Our association knows the need for education is crucial within our industry. We think it's important for students to be educated and trained in skills so they can perform their duties well when they enter the work world."

The CCA's endowment creates two annual $1,750 scholarships, one each for a male and female student. Smith says women currently make up 15% of Canada's construction workforce and only 2% of all tradespeople in the construction sector are women. He says it's important to attract more women to construction. "Professions like nursing have done a good job of attracting more men, and it is just as important for the construction industry to attract more women, and increasing scholarships for female students will certainly help."

Smith says educators now realize that trades education is as important as academics. He says the CCA has built important partnerships with the Calgary Board of Education, the Calgary Catholic School District and SAIT to increase the number of high school students entering apprenticeships.

The Calgary Construction Association represents approximately 850 member companies in the Institutional/Commercial/Industrial sectors, and employ 45,000 Calgarians. CCA promotes excellence and honourable business practices in the construction industry.

Written by Eric Rosenbaum