Diversity Liaison, Canada's Building Trades Unions - Apprenticeship
Brandi Jonathan is a Diversity Liaison with CBTU’s In the Trades Apprenticeship program, a federal funded program that provides financial incentives and training support for unionized small and medium-sized contractors.
She works closely with various community organizations and programs that work to recruit and retain underrepresented groups to the construction industry by leveraging and supporting existing programs to help employer partners meet diversity targets, support apprentices to ensure completion rates, and take a regionalized approach to work closely with stakeholders locally.
Brandi has dedicated her career to advocating on behalf of the Indigenous workforce on a local, regional and national level. She has been a key connector between Indigenous employment agencies and unionized building trades to ensure Indigenous youth have opportunities to secure sustainable employment and has developed and coordinated many programs promoting careers in the trades and apprenticeship pathways.
Brandi has been a key contributor to the development of the Indigenous Awareness course for CBTU’s In the Trades program. Lending her expertise in working with Indigenous tradespeople and her own personal experiences, Brandi has helped ensure the training is relevant and reflective of industry needs. The course is designed to increase understanding of Indigenous history, culture and unconscious bias in the workplace. Thanks to Brandi's contributions, the course fosters better relationships between trade professionals and Indigenous peoples.
She’s provided professional employment counselling and career planning in a safe, culturally sensitive and confidential environment. She’s also supported a diverse workforce through assisting clients with developing resumes, cover letters, job searching and advancing interview skills.
She has also been active in employer recruitment; as well as identifying labour market needs and develop partnerships to train clients in areas in demand.
Brandi’s dedication to promoting the skilled trades apprenticeships is evident – she’s developed many successful programs and marketing initiatives, including an “Apprenticeship is Hip” campaign that targeted the Six Nations community, resulting in the registration of over 80 new Indigenous apprentices.
She’s a seasoned presenter, speaking at national conferences to encourage employers and industry to seek Indigenous peoples and labour to assist them with their current and forecasted skills shortages. She believes apprenticeship is a natural fit for Indigenous people and encourages youth to consider the trades as a viable career option, having held the position of co-chair of the Aboriginal Apprenticeship Board of Ontario.
Brandi has been a key contributor to the development of the Indigenous Awareness course for CBTU’s In The Trades program. Lending her expertise in working with Indigenous tradespeople and her own personal experiences, Brandi has helped ensure the training is relevant and reflective of industry needs. The course is designed to increase understanding of Indigenous history, culture and unconscious bias in the workplace. Thanks to Brandi's contributions, the course fosters better relationships between trade professionals and Indigenous Peoples.
Brandi developed and coordinated The Work Ready Aboriginal People (WRAP) Program through her role as Employer Services Manager at Grand River Employment and Training (GREAT), an Indigenous non-profit organization providing employment and training support to Six Nations band members across Ontario. This program targeted Indigenous Youth ages 18 -30 years old, giving them opportunities to gain safety certifications and exposure to building trades through attending various Union Training facilities. This program was a huge success due to the partnerships built through Brandi’s connections with various unions and Building Trades councils, as well as her mentorship of the youth participants.
Brandi is a valued member of the CBTU team and provides significant contribution to our apprenticeship program's diversity, equity and inclusion targets, with 55% of the apprentices registered from equity deserving groups. In addition to being a dedicated worker that excels in building relationships with a proven track record of success, Brandi is humble, gracious, and connected to the people she elevates, and is deserving of recognition for her commitment to diversify the construction industry.