UA Local 46 & Victaulic: Building Skills for Canada’s Future

UA Canada, the UA Local 46 in Toronto

UA Local 46 & Victaulic: Building Skills for Canada’s Future

Posted on December 4, 2018

According to BuildForce Canada, more than one-quarter of a million construction workers in Canada are expected to retire this decade.  To fill the void, a continued focus is being made to attract and recruit young people to the construction trades in Canada.

Events and skills competitions have been instrumental in generating awareness and opportunities for students in elementary through post-secondary schools to explore and develop skills for careers in the construction trades in Canada. With the support and a collaborative effort from parents, teachers, employers, and industry associations these programs have proved to be very successful.


2 Skills Competitions Supporting the Construction Trades in Canada

  1. The 15th annual Future Building event in April, promoted as a “hands-on interactive construction trade experience”, attracted more than 9,000 students.
  2. In May, Skills Ontario, the provincial level starting point for what is Canada’s largest skills competition, saw over 20,000 attendees, with skills competition winners moving to the Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC) in June in Edmonton, Alberta. The only national, multi-trade, and technology competition for students and apprentices in the country, more than 500 young people from all regions of Canada made it to SCNC to participate in over 40 competitions including mechanical engineering CAD, plumbing, steamfitters-pipefitters, and sprinkler systems.


In association with UA Canada, the UA Local 46 in Toronto, the oldest United Association Union in Canada, has been actively involved with both of these events to help youth learn more about pipe fitting, steam fitting, and plumbing. With support from Victaulic, this year UA Local 46 was able to offer students and apprentices the opportunity to get hands-on with the Victaulic grooved pipe joining method and virtual design and construction in addition to traditional welding, soldering, and threading.


Learning the pipefitting trade: Dan Shelley from UA Local 46 helps students try their hand at joining Victaulic product on copper, stainless and CPVC pipe/tube during Future Building 2018.


For the Skills Ontario steam fitting competition, Victaulic worked with UA Local 46 to produce CAD drawings and material lists for a steam build that incorporated grooved mechanical elements including Victaulic Style 870 couplings and Style 871 gate valves. This design offered competitors a full installation experience, while the judging built in many real-life factors.


3D Revit drawing created for the Skills Ontario steamfitting competition.

Here’s what Dan Shelley, Assistant Training Director at UA Local 46, had to say about the value of the experience at both events for the participants. “At Future Building, the kids learn about types of different construction trades and even simulated a crew to figure things out on their own. Skills Ontario exposes competitors to the many facets of a real job site that goes beyond just speed and skill alone. Key intangible skills such as sportsmanship, working with others, following instruction, safety, and attitude are factored into the equation. These events are made much easier with support from companies like Victaulic.”


We look forward to continuing our support of the construction trades in Canada and working with UA Local 46 again in 2019. For more information on these great events visit:

Future Building

Skills Ontario

Style 870 High Performance Rigid Couplings, OGS-200 Grooved End Fittings, and other steam products in Steamfitting area.
Skills Ontario: Steamfitting area ready for the competition.

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