The trucker blockades have shown that Canada’s network of highways and bridges is essential not only to our economy, but also to our social and political serenity.

Unlike smaller, more politically unified jurisdictions, in Canada it is the provinces and territories that build and maintain our highways and bridges, as well as train the next generation of highway builders. roads. Not only are the horizontal infrastructure needs of each province and territory different, but so are their college education and training programs.

The BC Institute of Technology (BCIT) provides training for managers in the highway sectors of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI), BCIT spokeswoman Laurie Therrien said.

Courses are available through the BCIT Learning Center.

The Area Manager Road Certification (AMRC) program consists of seven courses.

“Over the past two years, we’ve worked with MOTI and subject matter experts to review the courses, to keep the content and delivery model up-to-date,” Therrien said.

Most students who take the AMRC program already work for MOTI.

“We see a steady stream of employees taking these courses,” Therrien said.

BCIT also offers courses on road works in its part-time degree program in public works.

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) offers the Roadbuilders certificate in its continuing education program.

There are nine courses in the program, says NAIT spokeswoman Tina Wood.

“The program is very popular,” Wood said. “This year, there are 160 students enrolled.

In addition to the certificate program, the School of Applied Science and Technology offers a diploma program in civil engineering technology, in which some aspects of road construction are taught.

“Before COVID-19, our enrollment was down about 25%,” Wood said. “The industry had asked us to offer the road building courses online because their members, who live all over Alberta, were having difficulty getting to NAIT. COVID has provided the impetus to connect quickly.

After all nine courses went online, student enrollment increased by 50%.

In Saskatchewan, road construction is taught in the civil construction option of the Civil Engineering Technologies (CET) program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic (Sask Polytech).

CET is a full-time, 27-month degree program offered on the Moose Jaw campus.

The program consists of five academic semesters and two consecutive four-month cooperative education work terms.

Dean Massier, program manager, explains that the program includes the recycling of asphalt pavement materials and the introduction of modified materials.

“Civil construction technologists are in demand,” Massier said. “There are many more jobs in the industry than there are graduates from Sask Polytech. Last year, the employment rate for graduates was 100% and the year before 93%.

In Manitoba, aspiring road builders can choose from two programs at Red River College Polytechnic (RRC Polytech).

The Construction Management program is a four-year Bachelor of Technology, Construction Management degree.

“Technical education covers road construction from the perspective of a construction manager,” said Michael Robb, Civil Engineering Technology Instructor.

RRC Polytech also offers a three-year diploma program in municipal engineering technology.

The course content is more technical than the construction management program.

Both programs have mandatory co-op work terms.

“Our students work all over the province,” said co-op coordinator Dylan Yanchynski.

Co-op students can begin work at the start of Manitoba’s construction season in May.

“Unlike most university students, who return to class at the end of August, most of our students can work until the end of October,” Yanchynski said.

In Ontario, various initiatives and educational institutions offer introductory courses and events for those interested in road construction. For example, there is the Ontario Construction Careers Alliance (OCCA), an industry-funded, not-for-profit alliance whose mandate is to advance knowledge about construction careers and related occupational vocations. OCCA provides accessible information, studies and resources to help students find construction jobs.

Road building education doesn’t stop there in Ontario, the Ontario Road Builders Association (ORBA) has its annual ORBA Road Building Academy as a continuing education option for road builders young and old in the province. This year’s academy offers 25 courses that provide information and guidance on topics spanning management and leadership, business and vocational education, technical and safety, and law and legal issues.

At Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), a program in civil engineering technology is related to road construction.

NSCC spokesman Peter Rosvall said the college’s civil engineering curriculum covers five main areas: structural, municipal, geotechnical, surveying and project management.

“The road building component is part of the total subject,” Rosvall said.

At the College of the North Atlantic in Newfoundland and Labrador, road construction education is offered through the Civil Engineering Technology (CET) program.

Sonny Hegde, dean of the School of Engineering Technology, says CET students learn several areas of road construction, such as highway technology, construction surveying, and road network design and drafting.

“CET has been one of the most requested programs at the School of Engineering Technology,” Hegde said.

The job market in the public and private sectors for CET graduates is strong.

“The construction of new roads in the province is mainly associated with the development of housing estates,” he said. “Most of the roads have already been built. But they are part of a regular program of maintenance and improvement, which results in regular road construction work during Newfoundland’s construction season.

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