Nova Scotia’s construction industry is digging into new technology to be more competitive with a $212,475 investment from the province. “Government is pleased to invest in the future of the construction industry, as it finds better ways of doing business,” said Lenore Zann, MLA for Truro-Bible Hill, on behalf of Marilyn More, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. “The industry is embracing the idea that they need to adapt to compete and attract skilled workers, especially in a business that tends to rely more heavily on a younger demographic to do the work.” The funding supports the industry-led Functional Information Technology (FIT) Project. The Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council is leading the initiative, which explores how new technology can make information sharing easier. “This project is really about identifying innovative ways to manage information and human resources,” said council executive director Trent Soholt. “It is helping industry meet the growing demands for safety, productivity, quality and resource management, and we feel this is just the beginning.” On average, foremen and supervisors spend 30 per cent of their time on paperwork. By reducing the time it takes to relay information, through methods such as a virtual plan review, time accounting, material tracking, records management or safety information, more work can be done in areas such as coaching and mentoring workers. “As a company constantly looking for ways to improve our operations and service to our customers, this project allowed us to explore new technologies, test them on our job sites and determine if they can yield results,” said Chris Curtis with Atlantica Mechanical Contractors Inc. “It removed the guesswork and the risk for us when buying new technologies.” The $212,475 provincial funding for the FIT project comes from the labour market partnership and the strategic training and transition fund. The federal government is contributing $97,586 and the construction industry is investing $215,000. The next phase of FIT will train construction workers how to use the new technologies. The provincial investment is part of the jobsHere workforce strategy to help Nova Scotians adapt and thrive during changing needs in the workforce. For more information on the strategy, go to www.careers.novascotia.ca.