A new initiative, Workforce 2030, was recently launched in Ontario by a coalition of employers, educators, and workers in the building sector coming together to fast-track workforce development.

While net-zero construction and deep energy retrofits are technically feasible and financially viable, there’s still much to be done to the scale needed to meet Canada’s 2030 carbon commitments. Workforce 2030 is focused on this goal by helping to grow and train Ontario’s low-carbon workforce.

The Workforce 2030 initiative is catalyzed by The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) and the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) and funded by TAF and the Catherine Donnelly Foundation.

According to research from CaGBC, government investment in a green recovery that prioritizes green building combined with progressive policy leadership could, by 2030, lead to over 600,000 direct green building jobs in Ontario and 1.5 million jobs nationally.

“Green building can create significant opportunity. The building industry is a proven cornerstone of economic recovery,” said Akua Schatz, vice president of market engagement and advocacy for CaGBC. “If governments invest in a green recovery and undertake progressive policies that prioritize green building, the industry can quickly generate the jobs Ontarians need and transform cities and neighbourhoods for the better.”

While the pandemic has the world’s focus, this remains a critical decade for climate action. Buildings can significantly contribute to Canada’s efforts to reduce carbon, as they account for almost 30 per cent of the country’s GHG emissions when including operations, construction, and materials. In urban centers such as Toronto, approximately half of all emissions come from homes and buildings. An investment in green building will create jobs that will be in demand for years to come as Canada transitions toward a low-carbon economy.

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“As a sector, we have the solutions and technology to be 2030-ready. The pandemic has expedited trends such as digitalization and building information modeling that were already transforming building design and engineering,” said Sandro Perruzza, CEO of Ontario Society of Professional Engineers. “By aligning with Workforce 2030, we look to accelerate new approaches for rapid upskilling, grow women’s participation in STEM occupations, and emphasize continuing professional education to build design capacity and deliver enhanced low-carbon buildings performance.”

The coalition work is guided by the senior leadership of foundational partners, through an Advisory Board that includes the following:

  • Julia Langer, CEO, The Atmospheric Fund
  • Akua Schatz, VP, Market Engagement and Advocacy, Canada Green Building Council
  • John Cartwright, President, Toronto and York Region Labour Council
  • Roselle Martino, Vice President, Policy, Toronto Region Board of Trade
  • Sandro Perruzza, CEO of  Ontario Society of Professional Engineers
  • Andrew Pariser, VP and expert in labour relations, Residential Construction Council of Ontario
  • Tony Cupido, Research Chair, Sustainability, Mohawk College, and Board Member, Canada Green Building Council
  • Rosemarie Powell, Executive Director, Toronto Community Benefits Network
  • Bala Gnanam, Vice President – Energy, Environment & Advocacy, Building Owners and Managers Association (Toronto)
  • Steven Martin, Business Manager, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 353
  • Mike Yorke, President, Carpenters District Council of Ontario
  • Surabhi Jain, Executive Director, Toronto Workforce Funder Collaborative
  • Corey Diamond, Executive Director, Efficiency Canada
  • Yogendra Chaudhry, Vice President, Professional Services, Eco Canada

Interested parties can learn more at workforce2030.ca and join the coalition by signing the Declaration of Participation.


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