RONA and VANOC open Fabrication Shop and launch community-based youth training program



    VANCOUVER, Nov. 19 /CNW/ - Three thousand stanchions, 1,200 media
positions, 1,000 signage pylons, 100 benches, 12 medal podiums, one Nordic
finish line structure...and more than 200 people with new tools for life.
These are just some of the impressive numbers behind the RONA Vancouver 2010
Fabrication Shop which officially opened today in East Vancouver.
    Working in collaboration, RONA and the Vancouver Organizing Committee for
the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) have partnered with
community organizations to launch this Fabrication (Fab) Shop. It has been
common practice at major multi-sport events to establish a Fabrication Shop to
manufacture and supply many of the items that bring the Games venues to life
and complete the athlete and spectator experience.
    VANOC's Overlay department will operate the Fab Shop and oversee
construction of the small wood products required at the venues. Over the next
two and a half years, the Fab Shop team will also build a wide variety of
unique items including medal podiums, wheelchair ramps, sports racks, signage,
warming huts, fencing, commentator positions and more. More than 8,000
individual items will be built by the Fab Shop by the start of the 2010 Winter
Games.
    What sets this Fab Shop apart is the development and delivery of a
community-based training program. The 30-week program provides carpentry
skills training and supported job experience to individuals who have yet to
successfully enter the workforce.
    "This program really is the first step in taking my life in the direction
it's supposed to go. I'm very committed to this training and completing it
will be a big achievement for me," said Agatha Weasel Moccasin, a participant
from the current group of trainees.
    "This Fabrication Shop is an example of how Vancouver 2010's operational
needs can leave legacies of improved economic and social conditions in our
communities," said John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer, VANOC. "Facilities
such as the RONA Fabrication Shop are integral to the operations of our Games.
This new training program connected to the Fab Shop provides tools for life
that will have a positive impact on socially and economically disadvantaged
groups."
    RONA, a Vancouver 2010 National Partner, began collaboration with VANOC
in the development of the Fab Shop in 2006. RONA has taken a leading role in
planning the facility, providing skilled labour to retro-fit the site,
previously used as a storage facility. RONA also recruited the supervising
carpenters and provided all the tools, equipment and wood materials.
    "As a National Partner of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic
Winter Games, RONA has a role in building the Games venues and creating
sustainability programs for the community," said Robert Dutton, President and
Chief Executive Officer of RONA, who participated in today's opening. "The
RONA Fabrication Shop will extend the positive effects of the Games into the
community, a project that matches RONA's strong values and commitment to
sustainable development. We're very proud to work with VANOC to achieve such
an important milestone, bringing the inner city into the delivery of important
visual and supportive elements needed for the Games".
    VANOC and RONA have partnered with community organizations, training
resources, and industry to offer four groups of carpentry training. A maximum
of 16 trainees will participate in each group, resulting in up to 64 people
receiving skills training and job experience through the program. VANOC's
Overlay team has built flexibility into their production schedules to
accommodate a complete change of trainees approximately every seven months.
    "The City of Vancouver has made a commitment to use the 2010 Winter
Olympic and Paralympic Games as a catalyst to address the social challenges
our community faces," said Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan. "This employment
training program will help us achieve that goal and ensure inner-city
residents benefit from our role as Host City. I want to thank VANOC and RONA
for this visionary partnership."

    The Community Training Program Partnerships

    "This project's success has benefited greatly from the determined spirit
of collaboration and cooperation among business and government partners,
community organizations and industry. The strength of these partnerships is an
essential foundation for our continued efforts to craft lasting legacies for
communities," said Furlong.
    Tradeworks Training Society, a non-profit organization providing
unemployed Downtown Eastside residents with job and life skills training,
helped to develop the program and to recruit the first 16 participants.
ACCESS, a non-profit agency delivering services to Vancouver's urban
Aboriginal population, will recruit and support the carpentry program's second
group of 16 trainees, to be drawn from the region's Aboriginal community.
    The carpentry program will be certified by the Industry Training
Authority (ITA), the agency which oversees B.C.'s industry training and
apprenticeship system. This allows trainees to register with the ITA so that
hours contributed to the Fab Shop will count towards their first-level
carpentry qualification requirements. Successful graduates will be assisted in
placement into apprenticeship positions with the long term goal of working as
a red seal certified carpenter.

    Construction Readiness Training Partnership

    To further translate training into jobs, VANOC is working with Building
Opportunities with Business Inner-City Society (BOB) and the Vancouver
Regional Construction Association (VRCA).
    As announced by the City of Vancouver on November 15, BOB will recruit
trainees for a series of six-week industry-led CORE (Construction Orientation
and Retention for Employment) construction readiness programs that will
prepare inner-city residents, Aboriginal peoples and others for entry level
construction jobs. The Vancouver Regional Construction Association is
responsible for the delivery of the CORE program.
    One hundred of the jobs available through the CORE program will be at
Games sites including the Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Village, a project
being led by the City of Vancouver. More than 160 inner-city residents will
have the opportunity to participate in the CORE training which begins in
January 2008.
    BOB, located in the Downtown Eastside, is focused on the economic
revitalization of Vancouver's inner-city neighbourhoods by providing
employment opportunities to residents of those neighborhoods and supports to
inner-city businesses.
    The VRCA represents more than 700 union and non-union contractors,
manufacturers, suppliers and professionals throughout the construction
industry, and promotes and improves industry standards, acts as an information
resource, facilitates standardization, delivers industry education and
training programs and facilitates member relations.

    About RONA

    RONA is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home
renovation and gardening products. RONA operates a network of more than 670
franchise, affiliate and corporate stores of various sizes and formats. With
over 26,000 employees working under its family of banners in every region of
Canada and more than 14 million square feet of retail space, the RONA store
network generates over $6 billion in annual retail sales. Visit www.rona.ca.

    About VANOC

    VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging
of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the X Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The
2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from
February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic
Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Suzanne Walters, VANOC
Communications, Tel: (778) 328-6386, suzanne_walters@vancouver2010.com; Eva
Boucher-Hartling, Director, External Communications, RONA Inc., Tel: (514)
599-5900, ext. 5114, eva.boucher-hartling@rona.ca; Financial Community,
Stéphane Milot, Senior Director, Investor Relations, RONA Inc., Tel: (514)
599-5951, stephane.milot@rona.ca

Organization Profile

VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

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VANOC

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