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Meghan Markle’s LA house – before Harry and royalty – up for sale

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Meghan Markle’s LA house – before Harry and royalty – up for sale

Megan Markle’s former LA home where she lived when she was an actress and before her marriage to Prince Harry, is up for sale.

When Markle, now Duchess of Sussex and a princess of the United Kingdom, first got her acting part in Suits in 2011, she was married to Trevor Engelson and they rented a home in L.A.’s Hancock Park neighborhood, close to downtown Hollywood. Though it was necessary for her to live in Toronto nine months of the year while filming, this is where she would return between filming and where she called home until her divorce in 2013. It was recently put on the market staged in pure Markle style, priced at US$1.8 million.

Filled with sunlight bouncing off of white walls and bright minimalist decor, the 1924 Colonial measures 2,262-sq.-ft. with four bedrooms, three baths, family room, living room with fireplace and dining area, all on an open plan. The eat-in kitchen is also filled with natural light and white cabinets are covered with marble countertops. The dining room opens onto a patio for entertaining and there is a two-car garage with additional parking.

Although romantics love to believe that Markle’s marriage to Prince Harry was a real life Cinderella story, she had been starring in Suits for six years and was paid, at what Fortune estimates, US$450,000 per show. In addition, her two clothing lines were popular, selling out quickly and her fashion-lifestyle blog was also pulling in about US$80,000 annually. By the time Markle became engaged to Prince Harry, her estimated wealth was already hovering at US$5 million.

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Cloverdale Mall

Cloverdale Mall area set for major community development

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Cloverdale Mall area set for major community development

Prospective homebuyers looking for new opportunities in the west end of Toronto might want to keep an eye out for developments around Cloverdale Mall in Etobicoke.

Property owner QuadReal Property Group of Vancouver has big plans for the area that extend well beyond a major redevelopment of the shopping mall itself, which dates back to 1956 when it first opened as an open-air plaza.

Following a year of community consultation, QuadReal plans to submit a rezoning application to the City of Toronto in December, proposing a comprehensive master plan to redevelop the existing 32-acre mall property into an innovative, dynamic and sustainable mixed-use urban community. The plan is to integrate the mall within the surrounding neighbourhoods, providing greenspace, as well as mixed residential, retail and community amenities.

QuadReal says it plans to incorporate feedback from the community, including local residents, business owners and shoppers. To ensure the development is reflective of community values, the company has built a 4,000-sq.-ft. space called the Cloverdale Common within the existing Cloverdale space, which hosts arts and culture programming, events and open houses to discuss the proposed plans. The resulting feedback will be considered in developing the property to include shopping, but also multi-generational residences, all-season parkland, arts and culture programming, fitness and wellness facilities, restaurants and more.

“The new Cloverdale community will offer a diverse mix of residential types, to create housing for all stages of life – from young professionals to seniors, students to families,” Ben Gilbank, director of development at QuadReal, told HOMES Publishing. “A variety of residential types will be provided, including rental, condo and affordable units, enabling cross-generational opportunities for housing. Units will range in size from smaller to larger, family-style units.

Once the proposal is submitted to the City in December, the next few years will be dedicated toward obtaining planning approvals, prior to commencing the first phase of construction, Gilbank adds.

Cloverdale is located in the Etobicoke Centre, an area popular for its proximity to the QEW and Hwy 427, the Islington-City Centre West central business district and established neighbourhoods, and which itself is undergoing significant redevelopment. Several new housing developments are in the works along Dundas St. W. between Islington and 427, and more planned for south side of Dundas just west of Kipling subway. New condos are also springing up along the 427 near Burnhamthorpe.

The nearby Six Points intersection, a complicated interchange where Kipling, Bloor and Dundas all intersect, is seeing tens of millions of dollars spent by the City over the next two years to modernize the roads and surrounding infrastructure, to accommodate future development in the area.


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Sidewalk Labs

Oct. 31 deadline for Sidewalk Labs transformation a scary proposition

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Oct. 31 deadline for Sidewalk Labs transformation a scary proposition

An Oct. 31 Halloween deadline to resolve major issues with Waterfront Toronto has been set for the game-changing Sidewalk Labs development proposal – a date some consider a scary proposition. If a deal can move forward, another six-month period will be allowed to finalize the biggest and most advanced redevelopment project in North America. If agreement isn’t reached, another partner may be sought.

Sidewalk is the developer and sister company of Google chosen in 2017 by Waterfront Toronto to develop a 12-acre, smart-city site at downtown Toronto’s eastern waterfront called Quayside. The new community would include a mix of housing types (including tall wood construction), financing for light-rail transit and walkable, bicycle-friendly streets.

Part of the proposal is the Innovative Development and Economic Acceleration district (IDEA) district, a 190-acre project on the eastern waterfront that builds on Quayside. It would include a new Canadian headquarters for Google and an $80-million pre-fabricated construction manufacturing hub to build its mass-timber neighbourhood.

According to Sidewalk, its proposal would create an estimated 93,000 jobs and $4 billion in annual tax revenue by 2040.

“But Toronto has had challenges in making big-vision projects a reality to take it to another level, as well as streamlining a clogged development and building approvals process,” says Richard Lyall, president of the Residential Construction Council of Ontario. “It’s not surprising that the two big issues in the last Toronto election were transit and housing. We are not developing enough of either to support our population growth.”

As it stands, the Toronto region is second only to Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington as the fastest growing major metropolitan area in North America, Lyall adds.

Sidewalk can introduce critical innovations in building information modelling, supply chain management and the regulatory approvals process, Lyall says, and it holds the promise for environmentally friendly affordable housing.


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After two years, we reveal our master bathroom reno

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After two years, we reveal our master bathroom reno

Two years ago, when we purchased our home, we knew that ONE day we’d get to our master bathroom. It was dated and needed a good reno, but we felt we could ‘live with it’ for a few years. Well, that one day finally came and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

The Plan

When planning out our space, I looked at a few different configurations. Ultimately, I was thinking I’d put a shower at the far end of our bathroom, install a smaller vanity, move the toilet over and put a claw-foot tub where the existing bath was. I think this would have made for a really functional space. The plan changed quickly over the course of a weekend when we bought a new house. Surprise…WE’RE MOVING AGAIN!! With that said, we still wanted to undertake this reno on a tight budget. Things would stay where they were so that we wouldn’t need to move any plumbing and we could get things started right away.

Tile

First off, I fell in love with these tiles from Stone Impressions. They were a quick ship option; I LOVED the pattern and they were unlike anything I had seen before. I started playing with the idea of using the Avery tile as a feature wall and didn’t look back. I reached out to Stone Impressions and was over the moon when they wanted to collaborate on our project. They shipped us the hand-selected Carrara marble tiles all the way from San Diego. When I opened up the package, I seriously couldn’t believe my eyes. The pattern on each individual tile looked so handcrafted and luxurious. I swear, we’re going to miss them in our new home.

Vanity

Next up, the vanity. We went with the 60″ Ashburn Vanity from Foremost available online at The Home Depot Canada. It was the perfect size for our space and the colour is GORGEOUS! My favourite part? That it has feet. It really looks like a piece of furniture. We decided to add an additional sink and it’s so functional for us. Before, we had so much counter space that we really didn’t use. We ordered the vanity online and it was shipped to our door (countertop, sinks and all).

Faucets & Hardware

When it came to our faucets I decided to go with matte black. I really love that the faucets don’t match the hardware on the vanity. The mixed metals work so well in our bathroom. This also allowed me to incorporate a polished nickel showerhead and some polished nickel in our vanity light. We ordered towel racks and our toilet paper holder in the same matte-black collection from Pfister. They’re stunning! The accents of black really work so well with everything else we have going on in the space. The collection is exclusive to The Home Depot Canada and I couldn’t be more thrilled to recommend it. The water ribbons as it pours, the design works with any bathroom esthetic, it came with an easy-to-install, push-to-seal drain, it has a lifetime warranty AND there are other finishes to choose from. Major win!

Saniflo

When planning our bathroom reno, we thought we’d be able to incorporate Saniflo into our project. When they explained to me how it worked, I jumped on the opportunity for a collaboration. In the end, we didn’t end up moving any plumbing and didn’t need to use their system, but I can assure you, we’ll be using it in our new home and I’ll be telling my friends about it. What is it exactly? Let me explain: The Saniflo Sanicompact macerating toilet is the system that I’m referring to. If you’re looking to install a toilet in a trailer, a cottage, a basement, or anywhere else that typically requires you to move plumbing, the Sanicompact allows you to quickly and easily add a new bathroom without any major construction. There is no need to break the concrete or move plumbing lines because the Sanicompact can tie into your existing lines. The best part about this system is the tankless design, which makes it great for smaller spaces, and it looks very modern too. Sounds pretty great right? Well, that’s a wrap. Thanks so much for checking out our Master Bathroom Reno. We love it! Stay tuned for future renos in our new house. I can’t wait to start planning and creating.

Shop my Bathroom:

Tiles: StoneImpressions | Faucet: The Home Depot | Tub: The Home Depot | Towel Bar: The Home Depot | Hand Towel Bar: The Home Depot | Toilet Paper Holder: The Home Depot | Vanity: The Home Depot | Turkish Towels: House of Jude

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Jaclyn Harper is a TV host, interior stylist and new mom living in Burlington, Ontario. You may recognize her from shows like Tiny Talent Time, Morning Live First Edition and The Shopping Channel. She has also worked behind the scenes for the Property Brothers’ Show, Buying And Selling. When Jaclyn’s not on TV or creating beautiful designs, you’ll find her latest projects on her blog jaclynharperdesigns.com. From DIYs, design projects to life as a new mom, her lifestyle blog and YouTube channel give her fans a peek into her family life.

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Kids’ bedrooms – a labour of love for the little ones

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Kids’ bedrooms – a labour of love for the little ones

I love working on bedrooms. They come in all shapes and sizes, so a cookie-cutter approach doesn’t really work, especially when the space is small and/or awkward. That sums up my spare room, which I was challenged with turning into a home away from home for three little girls under the age of six.

With toys, clothing and gadgets for three little ones, I had to come up with unique sleeping arrangements and incorporate lots of storage to make the best use of the space.

Creative Space Configuration

Fitting three girls into a small space certainly made making room for beds a challenge. My only option was bunk beds and, with tight space restrictions, I had to take it a step further and have custom beds created. In order to fit them into this small, square room, I had to get really creative. First, I turned the hinges on the bedroom door so it would open in the other direction. Then I built in a wall, creating a pseudo hallway inside the room. That wall was able to serve as a headboard and I mounted the bed ladder right on the wall, making use of every square inch of space.

Smart Storage

Because little girls have A LOT of stuff, I installed drawers on wheels under the beds and added an open-shelving area for additional storage. We also tucked a window seat into the wall and surrounded it with storage as well. I wanted to add texture and a modern twist by changing the closet doors to Masonite’s Melrose Safe ‘n Sound door, from Metrie. I went with their Safe ‘n Sound core option for the weight and feel of the door, and most importantly, to keep the noise down.

A Playful Feature Wall

I added wallpaper in a geometric pattern from Wayfair to create a feature wall. Originally, I was going to wallpaper the entire room with this pattern, but there was limited stock when I ordered it. So, having fallen in love with the design, I decided to use it anyway in a smaller dose – hence, the feature wall. I also used stylish blackout blinds from Wayfair in all white; their soft, cascading design makes the space seem larger and more airy.

Space-enhancing colour palette

I used soft colours in the room by adding a patterned rug from Wayfair and the polka- dot sheets, which keeps the room soft, clean looking and fun, all at the same time.

I added hypoallergenic, dust-mite control, fully washable pillows and bedding from my own line called Alcorn Home. I cannot stress enough the importance of “washable” sheets with little ones! These beauties pop right in the washing machine – cover, filling and all. Finally, I added some pink velvet pillows (also washable), and a black-and-white throw blanket to balance off the wallpaper at the end of the bed.

Personality, function and room to play

The artwork is another source of colour and pattern. By enlarging and hanging cute family photos, it added personality and a sense of belonging for the kids.

A full-length mirror at the end of the hall is functional and created a runway for playtime. There was enough floor space for the girls to get out their doll houses and other toys, and still have room for everyone to enjoy whatever they were doing at any given time.

The biggest lesson to learn from this makeover is that sometimes you really have to think outside of the box – literally! If I had stayed with the square room, as it was, it wouldn’t have the wonderful personality and function this room has now.

I love how this space turned out, and the kids love it too – which is the most important thing. I look forward to many sleepovers here and know this is a space that will easily change with them as they grow up. Just hoping it’s not too quickly!

Jo Alcorn is founder and design specialist at Alcorn Home.

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All in the Family – with multi-generational homes

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All in the Family – with multi-generational homes

Photography by Ben Rahn

Multi-generational homes are typically defined as those in which three or more generations live under the same roof; however, the structure of these homes can vary considerably, with some families choosing to renovate and other families deciding to purchase new-builds specifically designed for multi-generational living.

What’s old is new again

Despite the rash of recent media publicity, multi-generational homes are certainly nothing new, and it may be more precise to say that they are experiencing a renaissance. In fact, prior to the second World War, multi-generational living was the norm in many North American households, and it was only in the 1950s and ’60s that young adults began moving out at 19 or 20, never to return. Moreover, in many parts of the world, especially in Southern European and South-Asian countries, multi-generational households are common, if not the norm.

Contributing factors and a ‘fun’ fact

In Canada, multi-generational living arrangements are among the fastest growing household type, with the 2016 Census showing a 37.5 per cent increase in the number of multi-generational households since 2001. There are several factors contributing to their increasing popularity including: the rising cost of detached homes and lack of inventory (AKA “the housing crisis”), Canada’s changing ethnocultural composition, the delayed marriage pattern, and longer life expectancy, with seniors 65+ outnumbering children for the first time since Canada began recording such facts.

Not surprisingly, the demand for multi-generational homes is greater in high-priced housing markets such as Vancouver and Toronto. Fun fact: Toronto recently came 12th in a ranking of the world’s most expensive places to live, according to a new report by the CBRE that analyzed housing and rental prices for 35 major cities around the world. Architects and homebuilder associations are taking note of the increased demand for multi-generational homes. According to Calgary’s Smarter Growth Initiative, “The building industry is seeing a trend in multi-generational housing across Canada.” Builders and architects are therefore adapting floor plans and certain design elements have become selling points for this growing market.

An award-winning multi-generational masterpiece

The Toronto-based architect and design firm, Williamson Williamson Inc. has noticed the increased demand for multi-generational houses. Their third multi-generational home was completed in November 2016, and is a stunning home located in Ancaster, Ontario. This contemporary home is situated on a wide lot backing onto Ancaster Creek and was awarded a prestigious Ontario Association of Architects award.

The home was designed to connect with the land and echoes its natural surroundings with a local material palette of wood and stone. The exterior is clad in 3-1/2″ thick locally sourced Algonquin limestone. Plentiful, oversized windows reflect the serenity of the wooded lot and provide abundant natural light and expansive views. The upper parts of the home are clad in milled cedar boards, which contrast beautifully with the clean, linear modern esthetic.

Design for the Ages

The home also incorporates sustainable systems and accommodations for the homeowners’ elderly parents, proving that multi-generational housing and modern luxury are not mutually exclusive.

A fully equipped ground-floor suite

As with most multi-generational homes, this home was conceived as two separate residences. The parents’ suite is situated on the ground floor (so that they don’t have to contend with the stairs), and is fully equipped with a master bedroom, living and dining space, and even an extra bedroom and bathroom should live-in help become necessary at some point in the future.

Safety First

Carefully considered added features include well-placed drains and a master power switch, which were implemented to mitigate the issues that come with memory loss, such as a sink left running or an oven left on. An induction cooktop was selected because the burners don’t generate heat, and the cooktop both cooks and cools faster than conventional burners. Wide corridors benefit from bright lighting so that the parents can easily navigate between rooms with higher lumen counts in the bathroom and kitchen areas.

Shared living spaces

As is common in most multi-generational homes, the spacious ground floor also has shared living spaces. The modern kitchen features a 20-foot-tall pyramidal ceiling, back-painted glass, polished Calacatta slabs, and a large oak island, making it the perfect place for the entire family to convene.

The dining and living room are also communal spaces, with a honed travertine fireplace built into a feature oak wall, and a statement wood-clad spiral staircase that connects the living room to the second floor, where the homeowners have their private suite.

Upper-floor private retreat

The clean, modern esthetic continues upstairs with the master bedroom where the emphasis is on the floor-to-ceiling windows, which offer up the best views of the creek. The serene master bath is clad in grey marble tiles, and a custom oak library doubles as an office. Even better, the homeowners have their own private lounge with a concealed bar, perfect for one-on-one time.

Energy-efficient and eco-conscious design

With multi-generational homes, it’s important to have energy-efficient HVAC systems, and this Ancaster home doesn’t disappoint. The envelope of the house is highly insulated with triple-pane wood-frame windows. A high-efficiency furnace reduces the reliance on floor heating in the colder months, and a 37 module 9.8 kW solar array was installed across two of the flat roofs, offsetting energy consumption. LED lighting is also used throughout the home. Collectively, these measures result in a low-energy, eco-conscious home.

A smart solution with multiple benefits

As lifespans and housing prices continue to rise, multi-generational housing will provide a smart solution for families willing to embrace it. In fact, as long as privacy and autonomy are preserved, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks: close familial relationships, live-in caregivers for the young and the aged, and, of course, the pooling of financial resources. It doesn’t get much better than this – especially when you have the means to customize a beautiful home like this Ancaster Creek stunner.

For those who are considering this lifestyle but are constrained by more restrictive budgets, a great option is the FlezHouz by Marshall Homes, with a base price of $1.6 million. Essentially, the FlezHouz is a large house with a smaller independent house contained inside it. Make no mistake, these homes are well planned and constructed, and have been selling out fast since 2018, when an enterprising GTA builder named Craig Marshall foresaw the need for multi-generational housing in the high-priced Toronto market.


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Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch back on the market – again

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Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch back on the market – again

Photo credit: Compass

Michael Jackson died 10 years ago on June 25, 2009, and many people around the world commemorated his death by listening to his hit songs and watching his iconic music videos. They celebrated his astronomical career by remembering his early performances as part of The Jackson 5, replaying interviews, and watching documentaries like This Is It that shows the work that went into organizing his last concert, which sadly he never got the chance to perform.

Also remembered is his beloved Neverland Ranch, where he lived from 1987 until 2006. This was where he was finally able to experience childhood, having never had that luxury as part of the hard-working, family-singing group The Jackson 5.

Two years after his death, Neverland was put on the market for $100 million, but never sold. Today, restored at great expense to resemble the original ranch it was when Michael purchased it, the estate is back on the market and reduced to $31 million.

In 1977, developer William Bone bought the bare acreage in Santa Barbara County in Los Olivos, California. Bone engaged an architect to design all the main structures on the property, dig the lake and landscape formal gardens. It was his own fantasy land of sorts, as he was able to design it his way rather than at the direction of his clients. It took him two years working with architect Robert Altevers to get the design to his liking. He named it the Zaca Laderas Ranch and lived there until selling it to Michael in 1987.

Michael bought the 2,700-acre ranch for about $25 million and then spent millions more to develop it into a child’s fantasy land, which he appropriately named Neverland, in reference to the Peter Pan fairy tale. The 13,000-sq.-ft. main house, formal gardens, four-acre lake with fountains and a five-foot waterfall, along with an attractive stone bridge, had already been built by Bone when Michael purchased the property.

Michael added three railroads, a petting zoo, and a full amusement park complete with nine major rides and an arcade. He also installed an electric railroad with 100-feet of track behind the house for his own children.

Neverland was Michael’s beloved home until 2006 when he was charged with child molestation, which supposedly took place at the ranch. Although he was acquitted, the association of so much negativity with the ranch made it difficult for him to continue living there. Except for caretakers, the ranch was closed.

By 2007, Michael was behind in payments on his loan by about $23 million and the ranch was due to go on the auction block; however, investment group Colony Capital stepped in and bought the loan, making them co-owners. In 2009, Colony began restoring the ranch by removing the zoo and amusement park and replacing them with a Zen garden. The amusement park rides are now part of Sacramento’s California State Fair.

Now, on the 10th anniversary of Michael’s death, his beloved Neverland Ranch, renamed the Sycamore Valley Ranch, has had a massive price reduction from the original $100 million to $31 million. The listing agent is Suzanne Perkins of Compass Realty, Montecito, California.


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Fake News, How a coffee-loving construction worker who became an internet sensation…

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Fake News, How a coffee-loving construction worker who became an internet sensation…

If it seems too good to be real, it probably is. That old adage seems particularly sound in our era of social media and oversharing. For a brief window earlier this year, a construction worker in the U.S. became an internet sensation for mocking “influencer” culture. A Tweet purportedly from the man’s daughter said, “My dad asked me what an influencer was, and after I explained he said, ‘Pssh, I could do that.’ Well…he did.”

The post featured images of a man in a hard hat, work gloves, and a hi-vis vest sipping coffee, riding and e-bike, and in other influencer-style poses. Almost as quickly as the thread became an internet sensation it was revealed that the post was a fake: it was actually a marketing stunt for an Austin, Texas-based coffee shop.

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The Graduate: Good help is hard to find. Unless you know where to look

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The Graduate: Good help is hard to find. Unless you know where to look

In today’s labour market we constantly hear about a skilled trades shortage. The struggle is real! And as an employer, you know better than most just how difficult it can be to find a good employee. One that will last. One that will show up every day, on time. One that is worth investing your time and effort to train as an apprentice.

I hear from business owners when visiting the local building supply company that it is hard to find youth that are willing to work and put in the hours required to satisfy the employer. Are your expectations too high as an employer? Have we created a youth population that is unwilling or unmotivated to work? Or is it because they simply don’t have to? Sensitive subject matter I have found, and questions I would rather not debate.

With that being said, I believe that there are many young adults that are willing to work for you. Men and women that see the value in the trades. That understand and want that sense of accomplishment that we feel as tradespeople every day. People that can appreciate an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. There are people looking to change their career from behind a desk to the skilled trades. Employers just need to know where to find them. Luckily for you, I see them every day.

As a faculty member in the Carpentry Department at Conestoga College in Waterloo, Ont., I have the privilege to see these future tradespeople first hand. Granted, not all students are alike. But, in general, I believe employers should be looking at college grads as a viable option to grow their businesses. Canadian colleges have many postsecondary, trade-specific programs running throughout the year. Their students come from all walks of life. They could be fresh out of high school and want a little more training before hitting the workforce, or a mature, second-career student that is being retrained as a result of a lost job.

Interested, invested, and instructed are three key reasons why you should take a look at a college grad. Being interested in the trades may not be enough to make it on the jobsite. But being interested, making an investment in to their future, and having a trade-specific education all combine to make a college grad a great hire for your company.

College students have a keen curiosity of their chosen trade. These students have a plan for their future. They want to learn more about the trade and gain skills to be a valuable asset on the jobsite.

The majority of college students are in programs that they are interested in. This is a required first step on a student’s journey in the trades. They are not in high school trying to fill their timetable with “easy” credits in the tech department. (Trust me, I have taught in the high school system. Worst three weeks of my teaching career….) College students have a keen curiosity of their chosen trade. These students have a plan for their future. They want to learn more about the trade and gain skills to be a valuable asset on the jobsite. Whether this interest comes from seeing the success of a family member or from HGTV, these students are motivated to learn. As faculty members we are there to foster that curiosity and translate that to viable skills for you as an employer. As education progresses, students will discover if that specific trade is the right fit for them. Education weeds out the uncommitted or uninterested.

College students are invested in their future. They want to get an education to support their future. These students want to look better than that person off the street with no education but thinks it’s easy to swing a hammer. Contractors should be looking at hiring college grads for this reason. Grads have invested time and money in to their education. This should not be overlooked as this is not a minor investment. Most post-secondary programs are the better part of the year and can cost students a significant amount of money when factoring in tuition, textbooks, cost of living, and wages lost as a result of their commitment to their studies. Some diploma programs are a two-year commitment for the students. This must hold weight in an employer’s search for good people. I find that a second career student is that much more invested with their studies as they see this education as an opportunity for change. These students may have lost a job and are being retrained, or were not happy where they were with their previous career. Some have families to support and want to be able to provide for them. These students are invested to better their situation. They are motivated to learn and want to find a job at the end of their studies as they have a lot on the line. This investment and commitment to their education, I believe, will translate to a commitment to a good employer.

Finally, college grads are instructed. College graduates receive a practical, skill-based education founded in theoretical lessons. These students have invested their time and money in gaining a valuable education to help them find employment in their future. It is the job of the colleges of this country to provide students with an education that is industry driven and relevant. Students are gaining an education that is applicable with today’s safety standards, building codes, building practices, and proper tool and equipment training. Not only are students learning new skills, they are learning work ethics from journeypersonsturned- instructors that have been in the trade for some time. Faculty members know what it takes to make it in the trades and relate that with their students. Students learn what it takes to be a valued tradesperson.

As an employer, not having to invest your time to train employees on the basics is a valuable asset. Students learn how to use trade-specific tools properly and safely. College grads also learn practical training in state-of-the-art shops. Theory lessons provide grads an understanding of why we build the way we do. This translates to less time having to hover over your new hires during their first or second year of employment.

The skilled trades shortage is apparent but that does not mean you cannot find good employees. Look at your local college grad for your next great hire. Inquire with the college career services department to steer you in the right direction. Better yet, join your local college advisory board as an industry expert on what you are looking for in new hires, and what college education should include to prepare graduates for the real world.

Long-time contributor Nate Smith has been teaching at Conestoga College since 2009. You can follow him @carpentry_prof.

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