Andrew Pariser / RESCON
If you saw Amina Dibe speak at RESCON’s recent cannabis awareness event, you know that she is not a typical intern.
Standing up in front of about 100 construction executives, government officials and other key stakeholders, she delivered a speech without a pause or break. From her speech, you wouldn’t know that she is a 23-year-old recent graduate of Seneca College’s government relations program. But her performances – whether in front of a big crowd, addressing government officials on training and education issues, or participating in a Q&A during an in-house presentation – make an impression.
“She’s pretty bold, and I don’t mean that in a bad way at all,” says Richard Lyall, president of RESCON. “She is confident, determined and doesn’t shy away from a challenge. She has been a fantastic addition to the RESCON team because she fits in and shows great initiative.”
RESCON's Amina Dibe.
Dibe organized the cannabis in construction event which, from feedback by attendees, was excellent. The goal of the event was to look forward at the challenges of the legalization of recreational marijuana in July 2018. The Ontario General Contractors Association joined the event as co-hosts, and Dibe locked in labour and employment lawyer Carl Peterson of Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP, and addictions expert Dr. Melissa Snider-Adler of DriverCheck Inc. to deliver fantastic information at the Vaughan venue.
While Dibe thrived under the pressure to organize the cannabis symposium, she points to the annual awarding of a RESCON bursary for the Women In Skilled Trades (WIST) program as her favourite event that she’s been involved in since starting at the association.
She joined Pariser in presenting student Katherine Frankovich with a bursary for her education at the Centre for Training and Skills Development in Burlington.
“I was excited and curious about what her future holds, and proud to be part of such a great initiative,” Dibe says. “Getting women into the trades is something that the industry needs to keep working toward. The WIST program opens a door to women. It lets them know that construction is a viable option for a high-paying, stimulating career with upward mobility. It’s not just for men, and WIST proves this.
“There’s a lot more that we can do, and I’m looking forward to the possible expansion of our relationship with the Centre for Skills Development and Training.”
Pariser, left, WIST student Katherine Frankovich, second from left, and RESCON's Amina Dibe, second from right.
Working alongside myself and Lyall, Dibe has been a key part of the team updating rescon.com, and has showed great initiative on RESCON’s training and education file. She joined me and RESCON Director Frank MacPhee of Tribute Communities for two separate days of educational seminars on working in construction and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program for Grade 11 and 12 students at St. Mary’s Catholic Secondary School in Pickering.
“The message was that there are careers, not just jobs in the residential construction sector as there is a huge demand for workers in the skilled trades. Residential construction offers opportunities for those graduating from high school, trade schools, colleges and universities. These are high-paying careers, and they are challenging and rewarding,” Dibe says.
“I feel like I’m making an impact or helping the students decide on what they’re going to do after high school, assisting them with learning about their options after high school.”
FAIR HOUSING PLAN
Before being hired by RESCON, Dibe worked at York Region Transit. She first learned about the association at Seneca earlier this year from a press release we put out on the Fair Housing Plan.
What really struck her was the way RESCON tied the housing affordability issue to her generation.
“As someone who is a millennial and will be trying to enter the housing market within the next 10 years, I value the work that the association does to increase the supply of housing. After reading about RESCON’s mission and some of the stuff that RESCON does, I value the work RESCON does on housing affordability, which is a huge issue in Ontario and specifically the GTHA.”
Dibe says that she’s proud to be working on behalf of residential construction, and not intimidated by the stereotype that this is a man’s industry. “It’s not just a man’s job anymore. Actually, it never was.”
Andrew Pariser is the vice-president of RESCON and chair of the RESCON health and safety committee. Reach him @RESCON_VP or at email@example.com, or call 905-760-7777.