TRURO - Construction sites in Nova Scotia could soon be going a little more high-tech.
At the Central Nova Scotia Civic Centre here yesterday, investments in support of the Functional Information Technology (FIT) project totalling $525,061 were announced. The initiative will introduce new technology, specifically computer-based, to construction site workers.
The breakdown of the contributions are as follows: provincial government - $212,475; federal government - $97,586; and construction industry -$215,000.
Improving technology and communication at construction worksites throughout the province is more essential than people realize, says Paul Smith, project manager of the civic centre.
"It will make an incredible difference for the construction management team, contractors, clients, everyone involved in construction projects," said Smith. "The amount of paperwork is immense and time is money so we need to streamline things as much as
Trent Soholt, executive director of the Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council (NSCSC), said there's still an overwhelming amount of paperwork used in construction projects, which can reduce efficiency, time management and productivity.
"I've seen people leave the site six times to take paperwork to others," Soholt said, adding on an average, foremen and supervisors spend 30 per cent of their time on paperwork.
He said it's more than traditional computers the project is trying to introduce to construction worksites. Potential upgrades include drop proof electronic tablets, scanner and motion computers, which include barcode readers for products and finger printing for identification.
"We are using equipment that is upgradeable or advanced so there's a need to grow into it" and not quickly become obsolete, Soholt added.
Soholt said it's up to construction companies - except home and road builders "because they have their own sectors to tap into" - to contact the NSCSC to seek help through the program.
Truro-Bible Hill MLA Lenore Zann said the program should be appealing to all ages, especially as more younger people get into construction work.
"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."
What: Federal and provincial funding for upgrades to technology in the construction industry
Announcement made: Tuesday morning at the Central Nova Scotia Civic Centre in Truro
Breakdown of funding: Province - $117,475 through the Department of Labour and Advanced Education's Labour Market Partnership and $95,000 through its Strategic Training and Transition Fund.
Federal money - $97,586 through ACOA's Innovative Communities Fund. Construction industry - investing $215,000.
For more information and to look into accessing the funds, visit nscsc.ca.