UBC Millwright Local 1443 Collaborates with Skills Canada to Elevate Trades Excellence at National Competition

Published On: August 23, 2023Categories: News Update
UBC Millwright Local 1443 Collaborates with Skills Canada

UBC Millwright Local 1443 Manitoba members James Szmerski, Dominique Gosselin, Mike Williams, Kevin Blakely

Winnipeg, MB, July 28, 2023 – The spotlight shone brightly on the intersection of skill, dedication, and collaboration as UBC Millwright Local 1443 teamed up with Skills Canada to ensure the resounding success of this year's national competition. Members of UBC Millwright Local 1443 Manitoba were struck by the scale, passion, and meticulous planning that fuels this remarkable showcase of trades expertise and talent.

Skills Canada, renowned for its celebration of vocational skills and trades mastery, came to life in a truly awe-inspiring manner for the industrial Mechanic (Millwright) trade portion. The event witnessed dedicated volunteers from various backgrounds pooling their efforts to orchestrate the seamless setup, maintenance, and evaluation of the competition area. Hailing from Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Quebec, and Manitoba, five exceptional candidates stepped up to put their Millwright skills to the test, showcasing their proficiency, adaptability, and determination.

"This was my first experience with Skills Canada, and witnessing the incredible commitment of volunteers and organizers firsthand was truly eye-opening," said James Szmerski, Business Representative at Millwright Local 1443. "From the moment we set foot in the venue, it was clear that we were part of something monumental."

UBC Millwright Local 1443's involvement was catalyzed by Mike Williams, a seasoned Skills Canada volunteer and member of the local union. His tireless efforts led to the active engagement of Local 1443 members, who played pivotal roles in various aspects of the competition. The local's dedication extended to facilitating the participation of French-speaking contestants, ensuring equal opportunities for all.

The competition itself was a testament to the multifaceted nature of Millwright craftsmanship. Contestants were challenged with tasks ranging from constructing and troubleshooting pneumatics boards, analyzing pump prop vibrations and shaft alignment, to assembling complete shaft and bearing sets according to precise specifications. Brother Mike Williams, in addition to his volunteering commitment, played an instrumental role in developing and organizing the Millwright portion of the competition.

Among the prominent contributors from Local 1443, Dominique Gosselin played a pivotal role beyond the Millwright trade when called upon to assist as an interpreter for not just the millwrights, but many french speaking contestants underscoring the versatility and expertise that millwrights bring to diverse challenges. Recently retired member Kevin Blakely's enthusiasm and hands-on assistance throughout the competition embodied the spirit of collaboration that defines the UBC Millwright Union.

The 2023 event unfolded at the RBC Convention Center in Winnipeg, where the vibrant atmosphere was electrified by over ten thousand students exploring an array of trades and skills. With more than two thousand competitors from across Canada showcasing their talents, the event resonated with the unmistakable sense of unity that the trades community fosters.

On the event's inauguration, every participant and volunteer received recognition from Canada's Prime Minister, acknowledging their pivotal role in advancing trades excellence. The letter underscored the importance of the trades in shaping the nation's future and conveyed gratitude to all participants for their dedication.

“The Skills Canada National Competition is the only national, multi-trade and technology competition for students and apprentices in the country, providing a platform for UBC Millwrights to showcase our skills and talents, while engaging thousands of student visitors to start an apprenticeship, and embark on a new career with UBC Millwrights.” said Mark Beardsworth, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Millwright Regional Council - Canada.

About the Millwright Regional Council – Canada (MRC)

The Millwright Regional Council – Canada (MRC) is composed of thirteen affiliated Local Unions of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC) across Canada.

We represent thousands of women and men working as progressive cross-trained construction and maintenance professionals with exceptional skills to install, maintain, diagnose, and repair precision machinery.

UBC millwrights are vital partners in industries as diverse as energy, automotive, aerospace, food processing, pharmaceuticals and more.

For more information about UBC Millwright Local 1443, Millwright Regional Council – Canada, and our recruitment programs, please contact:

Andrew Bredin
Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Millwright Regional Council – Canada