History of the Construction Education Council

During the Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada’s AGM in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 2014, it was approved that the Canadian Mechanical Contracting Education Foundation (CMCEF) would be legally dissolved as a separate Not for Profit Organization and will become a Council within MCA Canada. The Council was named the Construction Education Council (CEC). The main objective of the change was to bring ownership of the Council closer to the Provincial and Affiliate MCA’s thus increasing membership participation in education.

CEC’s primary role is to assess the education and training needs of the industry and to promote and deliver programs to meet these needs. Other roles of the Council include the promotion of careers in the construction industry, liaise with various training organizations, make recommendations on the expansion of current education programs including but not limited to partnership development, local and remote delivery, promotion and marketing, as well as private and customized delivery.

History of the Canadian Mechanical Contracting Education Foundation

The Canadian Mechanical Contracting Education Foundation (CMCEF) was established as a federally chartered non-profit corporation on May 8, 1998. It was governed by a Board of Trustees with representation from: Contractors of various sizes from all regions of Canada; Provincial Affiliate Managers Council; Associate / Supplier Members; Employees; and Client / Owners. The Chairman and President of the Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada (MCAC) hold ex-officio, non-voting positions on the Board.

The Foundation was created upon the recommendation of an Education Task Force in its report to the Board of MCAC. The report was a major component in the mechanical contracting industry’s strategic response to the findings and recommendations of the Pipe Trades National Human Resources Needs Analysis (the IAS study) published in 1997.

The industry had been challenged by a great deal of change in a short period of time. Slow recovery in an uncertain economic climate had given rise to irrational competition where poor estimating and under-bidding have resulted in financial distress for individual companies. Market conditions for the entire industry have been undermined. The problem was compounded by rapid technological change, making it increasingly difficult for companies to maintain the capability to access and utilize newer materials, applications, and systems.

Based on the findings of a national survey and contractor focus groups, MCAC’s Educational Task Force determined that continuous, “life long” learning and skills upgrading, with a focus on new management techniques and procedures, were essential for the future viability of the industry.

The Task Force challenged the Foundation with a 4-dimensional mandate:

  • To promote the concept of continuous career education and facilitate distance learning through electronic program delivery.
  • To assist contractors in selecting the most convenient, cost-effective, best value training, relevant to their particular needs, by creating a national inventory and calendar of available course providers, evaluated and “Gold Seal” recognized.
  • To develop programs where subject or regional voids are apparent.
  • To promote the more technological, professional image of today’s modern mechanical contracting industry through partnerships with high schools, colleges, and universities, attracting the brightest and best students to careers in the industry.