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Nova Scotia automotive industry celebrates its leaders

The 8th annual Automotive Industry Awards evening held on February 21st, hosted by the NS Automotive Sector Council (ASC) proved to be an exciting event.   

Corrie Robley

Industry leaders, employers and employees from various industry sectors gathered to network, learn about latest industry initiatives and recognize outstanding leadership within the industry throughout the past year. Industry associations and sectors were represented by Lindsay Gates, Collision Repair Association; Mr. Maurice Anderson, Automobile Insurance Appraisers Association of Nova Scotia; Joel Miller, Atlantic Tire Dealers Association; Rui Martins, Canadian Tire Group and ASC Board; Mr. Al MacPhee, Automobile Dealers Association of Nova Scotia; Mr. Graham Conrad for the Retail Gasoline Dealers Association. Key industry partners in attendance included Nova Scotia Community College, NS Apprenticeship Training Division, NS Department of Education, Halifax Regional School Board, Metropolitan Immigrant Settlement Association and the Native Council of Nova Scotia, to name a few.While each association and partner is distinct and provides different services within the Automotive Service & Repair Industry, workforce development is the common thread among all. Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed hearing from keynote speaker Mr. John Watt, Retail Franchise Director, Petro-Canada Certigard (and First Vice-Chair, Automotive Industry Association of Canada.)  Mr. Watt gave an insightful speech on the untapped market of unperformed automotive repairs in Canada.

Skip Harris (Merit Muffler); Alex MacNeil (Midas); Cynthia Giles (NSASC) Industry Recognition Award for leadership in Small Business Essential Skills program, Sydney, Cape Breton. Skip Harris (Merit Muffler); Alex MacNeil (Midas); Cynthia Giles (NSASC) Industry Recognition Award for leadership in Small Business Essential Skills program, Sydney, Cape Breton.
Corrie Robley (NS Automotive Sector Council); Lynn Johnston (Native Council of Nova Scotia); Al MacPhee (NS Automobile Dealers Association Industry) Appreciation Award for Aboriginal Youth Employment Strategy. Corrie Robley (NS Automotive Sector Council); Lynn Johnston (Native Council of Nova Scotia); Al MacPhee (NS Automobile Dealers Association Industry) Appreciation Award for Aboriginal Youth Employment Strategy.

Mr. Watt shared research indicating Canadian motorists require approximately $2 billion of maintenance and repairs. In the greater Halifax region alone, this equates to an estimated $100 million of available work.  Employers returned to their businesses with new ideas to tap into this under utilized source of revenue. In addition, several new initiatives were announced including, the brand-new CARSability professional skills assessment tool, the new Annapolis Valley Collision Repair Bursary for apprentices, and three new CRANS scholarships for apprentices. The CARSbility skills assessment tool was officially launched by Jennifer Steeves, Executive Director of the Canadian Automotive Repair and Service Council. Guests enjoyed testing CARSability for a chance to win a Lamborghini laptop, which was won by Wayne Pace, Tantallon Esso. CARSability is designed to identify areas for professional development by employers, management and employees and then to link training needs with available training across Canada.

Corrie Robley (NSASC) Laird Allen (NSCC, Automotive Instructor) Workforce Development Award for personnel of an NSCC student scholarship. Corrie Robley (NSASC) Laird Allen (NSCC, Automotive Instructor) Workforce Development Award for personnel of an NSCC student scholarship.
Wayne Pace (Tantallon Esso); Jennifer Steves (CARS ); Winner of CARSability draw for Lamborghini laptop. Wayne Pace (Tantallon Esso); Jennifer Steves (CARS ); Winner of CARSability draw for Lamborghini laptop.
Corrie Robley (NS Automotive Sector Council); Lynn Johnston (Native Council of Nova Scotia); Al MacPhee (NS Automobile Dealers Association Industry) Appreciation Award for Aboriginal Youth Employment Strategy. Corrie Robley (NS Automotive Sector Council); Lynn Johnston (Native Council of Nova Scotia); Al MacPhee (NS Automobile Dealers Association Industry) Appreciation Award for Aboriginal Youth Employment Strategy.

The new Annapolis Valley Collision Repair Bursary for apprentices was developed thanks to the efforts of Karen North, North's Auto Body and Brent Gerrits, Gerrits Collision and Refinishing.

Their commitment to attract and develop apprentices through this bursary was recognized as an example of outstanding leadership. Karen and Brent celebrated the launch of the Annapolis Valley Collision Repair Bursary with a random draw for the first two recipients of $500.  The lucky winners were Cory Cosman, Belliveau Motors and Justin Ellis, Bruce GM. The bursary money is to be used towards employment training and related costs. The Automotive Trades Association held its annual $2,000 scholarship for post secondary education.  This year, it was awarded to Emily Overmar, daughter of Barb & Henry Overmar, Henry's Esso, Antigonish, NS. Congratulations to Emily and her family.

Ivan Kotseruba (Immigrant technician); Rui Martin (Canadian Tire, Clayton Park); Corrie Robley (NSASC) Industry Recognition Award for participating in the NS Automotive Immigration Strategy.
Ivan Kotseruba (Immigrant technician); Rui Martin (Canadian Tire, Clayton Park); Corrie Robley (NSASC) Industry Recognition Award for participating in the NS Automotive Immigration Strategy.

Recognition was also given to:

NS Automobile Dealers Association of Nova Scotia for their support and participation in the development of an Aboriginal Youth Employability Project, delivered in Spring 2007.  The Nova Scotia Community College for their support and commitment in providing the automotive training, also instructed by an industry journeyperson, for the Aboriginal Youth program. 

Nova Scotia CARSability Participants
Nova Scotia CARSability Participants

NSCC Instructor, Laird Allen for his personal commitment to student achievement. For the past several years, Laird has donated a portion of his summer wages (and matched by O'Regan's Automotive Group) to future NSCC students through a scholarship fund.

Chris Newald (CARS ); Trevor Robins on (AutoChoice Parts and Paints); Gerry Chute (MotorMart GM); Bahram Mirzaagh a (AutoChoice Parts and Paints), ALL Test driving CARSability. Chris Newald (CARS ); Trevor Robins on (AutoChoice Parts and Paints); Gerry Chute (MotorMart GM); Bahram Mirzaagh a (AutoChoice Parts and Paints), ALL Test driving CARSability.

Skip Harris, Merit Muffler and Alex MacNeil, Midas, for their leadership in the development of a brand new Small Business Essential Skills training program in Sydney, Cape Breton. This program has brought eight local employers together to advance their entrepreneurial skills and is the first of its kind in Nova Scotia's Automotive industry. Rui Martins, of Canadian Tire Clayton Park, who is participating in the NS Automotive Immigration Strategy, attracting certified technicians from outside of Canada, demonstrated that the Immigration Strategy can be a solution to address the existing shortage of certified technicians. Resulting from the immigration study, delegates heard from Ivan Kotseruba, an industry success story.  Ivan, a certified technician recently immigrated to Nova Scotia from Ukraine. 

Corrie Robley (NS Automotive Sector Council); Lynn Johnston (Native Council of Nova Scotia); Al MacPhee (NS Automobile Dealers Association Industry) Appreciation Award for Aboriginal Youth Employment Strategy.
Corrie Robley (NS Automotive Sector Council); Lynn Johnston (Native Council of Nova Scotia); Al MacPhee (NS Automobile Dealers Association Industry) Appreciation Award for Aboriginal Youth Employment Strategy.

He spoke about his process and welcome under the Automotive Immigration Strategy.  It was an inspiring story of accomplishment - for future technicians wishing to relocate to Nova Scotia and for employers searching for talented employees. The evening would not have been made possible without the solid support of our sponsors. Many thanks are extended to:

  • Advantage Wireless, Telus
  • A.P. Reid Insurance Stores
  • Apprenticeship Nova Scotia
  • CARSability
  • Collision Repair Association of Nova Scotia
  • HiringSmart Canada
  • Power, Dempsey, Leefe & Reddy Law Firm
  • St. John Ambulance
  • Scotiabank
  • Steele Collision Centres
Awards Evening Participants
Awards Evening Participants

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