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You have a stake in what's at stake

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CKCA by Sandra Wood
CMP, Executive Director, CKCA
At the time of writing this, the conflict in Russia and the Ukraine has intensified. The tragedy of what is unfolding leaves many of us speechless. Watching the news has become painful as news anchors interview Ukrainians who share their stories across all social media platforms. You can pick up your phone and watch what is unfolding on YouTube, Tik Tok, Facebook, Twitter anytime and anywhere you choose. The Ukraine/Russia conflict is no doubt the most broadcast visible war we have ever seen. The stories and the plight of Ukraine has captured the world, we are seeing countries come together in solidarity to support Ukraine by imposing economic sanctions on Russia. The world is a lot smaller than we think; we surely know this resolutely from watching COVID-19 spread with lightning speed around the world.  
Stepping back from this and turning our heads to what transpired in Ottawa in February with the blockades, it too was broadcast widely. As one colleague said surprisingly “It’s even all over Fox news”. But let’s put all the political opinions on these conflicts aside. What are the commonalities of these situations? First, they involve people, secondly, they involve people speaking up and fighting for what they believe in. Thirdly, its people speaking up and using channels to push their messages to affect change.
There’s a book written by Paul Hawken, an author and environmental activist entitled “Blessed Unrest,” a fascinating read about a largely unseen movement with a unifying ideology. If you go back to the old cliché “great minds think alike” it’s really based on that. The point being that people are affecting change because they are working collectively towards a common goal.
You may have noticed recently that CKCA was a collaborator in a project spearheaded by Woodworking Canada.
CKCA, along with the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association (AWMAC), the Wood Manufacturing Council (WMC), and the Wood Manufacturing Cluster of Ontario (WMCO) developed WOODWORKINGJOBS.CA; a tool that we hope will be helpful to the entire industry. It was created to assist companies engaged in the secondary woodworking sector identify and recruit skilled personnel by presenting job and career opportunities to potential team members for their organization, all in one location.
This is a free service for the industry, so if you are looking for a new member for your team you can start right here and it’s absolutely free.
Why? Because we are all facing the same industry challenges – labour shortages - and we all want the same outcome.
The potential of this tool is significant; it is an important first step. We determined that together we could achieve an objective - 
to create a centralized place for people to post jobs and, more importantly, for people to find jobs. Interestingly, if you scan through the site, it is also telling a story.  What struck me is the wide range of jobs available in our industry across the country. We finally have a visual tool that paints a broader picture of what’s going on. If anyone asks you what kinds of jobs are in our industry – direct them to the site. It is eye opening.
When people come together for a common goal it can be incredible. Associations, like CKCA, were created for that very reason. In 1968 manufacturers fought to repeal federal taxes. It took them 5 years as a collective voice, but eventually they were successful. If you want to see change then you need to be part of the conversation. If the labour shortage is impacting your business, join us or whatever association best aligns with your interests. Whether you are a manufacturer, dealer or supplier you have a stake in what’s at stake. We need you and you need us. Don’t just be frustrated with the lack of change, join us and let’s work together to create change that matters.

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