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New Brunswick

Aboriginal Shipbuilding
Engagement Strategy
A Strategy To Maximize New Brunswick
Aboriginal Participation In The National
Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy

SEPTEMBER 2014

Contributors to this project

supporter of this project

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Joint Economic Development Initiative and the
National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy

2

Developing the Strategic Plan

3

Advisory Working Group

3

Dialogue Sessions

3

Database Development

4

Understanding the Supply Chain

4

Key Strategic Foundations, Goals and Objectives

5

Relationships

5

Communications

6

Workforce Readiness and Development

6

Business Readiness and Development

7

The Way Forward – Implementation

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New Brunswick Aboriginal Shipbuilding Engagement Strategy

THE JOINT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE
AND THE NATIONAL SHIPBUILDING procurement STRATEGY
For almost 20 years, the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI) has had a positive impact on the New Brunswick Aboriginal
population in relation to their participation in the New Brunswick economy. JEDI’s formation was a result of meetings in 1995
between members of the New Brunswick Aboriginal leadership, and senior Federal and Provincial representatives who wished to
address the issue of Aboriginal economic development. The JEDI approach has become a nationally recognized model for the
successful development and implementation of business and workforce participation initiatives which are driven by the demands
of the New Brunswick economy.
Over the years since inception, the organization has evolved to reflect the changing priorities and interests of the partners and the
state of the Aboriginal economy in New Brunswick. One of the cornerstones of JEDI’s success has been its relationships with a wide
spectrum of partner organizations in New Brunswick. These relationships include Aboriginal communities and organizations,
other levels of government, and the private sector. Having everyone at the table when necessary has been a major contributor to
the organization’s success.

JEDI has also ensured the initiatives it develops and implements are tied to the real needs of the private and public sectors, as
well as the Aboriginal workforce and business community. Continuously monitoring emerging opportunities, and addressing the
needs of New Brunswick’s Aboriginal people to take advantage of those opportunities has resulted in the provision of programming which best serves all of JEDI’s partners.
With the announcement by the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy Secretariat in October 2011 that Irving Shipbuilding
Inc. had been selected to negotiate an Umbrella Agreement for the construction of the combat vessel work package it became
clear this initiative, projected to be carried out over a 20 – 30 year period, would have a major impact on the economy of eastern
Canada. The potential impact such a project could have on New Brunswick’s Aboriginal people was immediately recognized by
officials of the New Brunswick Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat (AAS). AAS proceeded to carry out initial research and developmental
activities and approached JEDI to partner on pursuing this opportunity.
Officials of JEDI, working with and receiving support from New Brunswick tribal councils, industry, Provincial and Federal partners,
decided that the focus on such a large and long term opportunity should be based on a strategic approach, and it was therefore
decided the first step would be to develop the New Brunswick Aboriginal Shipbuilding Engagement Strategy.
At this developmental stage it was also recognized that in addition to those key partnerships at the Provincial and Federal level,
it was essential that the Aboriginal regional and community partners play a major part in the strategy development. Support
was sought from and provided by each of the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy agreement holders (ASETS).
Through these relationships the connections to communities and grass root membership was solidified.

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DEVELOPING THE STRATEGIC PLAN

DEVELOPING THE STRATEGIC PLAN
In developing the strategy there were a number of activities required to be initiated which contributed to the final strategy
content, as well as the various support undertakings leading to the strategy development. Those major activities included the
identification and recruitment of an Advisory Working Group, the delivery of a series of dialogue sessions across the province to
inform and seek feedback about the strategy, the development of a comprehensive database of the Aboriginal workforce and
businesses, and the development of an understanding of the supply chain and their needs. Each activity is addressed in more
detail, as follows.

Advisory Working Group

An Advisory Working Group was formed to monitor the various initiatives being undertaken to provide support and advice
throughout the spring of 2014. The Working Group proved invaluable and represented those partners required to ensure the
strategy’s success, consistent with the long term approach to partnering that JEDI has modelled since its inception.
The Working Group included representatives from the Aboriginal community from each of the four ASETS agreement holders,
industry, the trade unions, and the provincial government, as well as observers from Irving Shipbuilding Inc. and the Federal government. The input received from this group has been extremely helpful in focusing the technical personnel’s efforts throughout
the developmental stage.

Dialogue Sessions

One of the essential components identified early in the planning stage was to ensure a comprehensive process was undertaken
to ensure members and representative organizations of the New Brunswick Aboriginal community were informed about the
National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy and its anticipated impact upon the eastern Canadian economy. This process was
also designed to allow an opportunity for participants to provide their insight into what should be considered in developing the
strategy.
Eight separate dialogue sessions were undertaken throughout the Province, with the first six targeting the general Aboriginal
population and their representative organizations. The seventh session targeted the Aboriginal Economic Development Officers
(EDOs) and Employment and Training Officers (ETOs) throughout the Province. The final session, held at UNB, targeted high school
students considering their educational and employment options upon completion of their studies. The following table provides
the details of when and where these sessions were carried out.

NEW BRUNSWICK ABORIGINAL SHIPBUILDING ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY DIALOGUE SESSIONS
Date

Location

April 30, 2014

Tobique First Nation

May 5, 2014

Saint John

May 6, 2014

Fredericton

May 7, 2014

Elsipogtog First Nation

May 12, 2014

Miramichi

May 13, 2014

Bathurst

May 22, 2014

UNB (ETOs and EDOs)

May 23, 2014

UNB (High School Students)

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New Brunswick Aboriginal Shipbuilding Engagement Strategy
Input from these sessions contributed to the development of
the Strategic Plan and was further supplemented through an
online form located on JEDI’s Web page, allowing for direct
input by those unable to attend the dialogue sessions.
While the level of participation at these dialogue sessions was
not as high as originally anticipated, the input and feedback
derived from those that did participate has been very helpful in further refining the strategy as it evolved and ensured
it reflected local, community and regional interests. When
consolidated with the contributions from the more than 100
participants at the JEDI June plenary the strategy has become
more focused, with additional community based input now
supplemented by voices from industry and other levels of
government. In July 2014 the strategy was presented to the
New Brunswick Aboriginal leadership and opportunity was
provided for their input and comments and the finalized strategy has been accepted as presented.

Database Development

Understanding the current status of potential Aboriginal workers who could be deployed on the project, or those that could be
trained and assisted to develop their job readiness skills, helped provide direction to those aspects of the plan which address
workforce readiness and development. A similar understanding of the current status of the New Brunswick Aboriginal business
community provided insight to those aspects of the plan addressing business readiness and development.
JEDI worked with its partners, the four Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETs) agreement holders, to undertake a Province wide database project documenting those individuals and businesses which might benefit from the National
Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy’s activities with Irving Shipbuilding Inc., or members of their supply chain. The following
valued partners carried out the important database research work in their respective regions of New Brunswick:



North Shore Mi’kmaq District Council
The MAWIW Council
New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council
St. John River Valley Tribal Council

The database itself was designed internally by JEDI, after reviewing the Irving Shipbuilding Inc. supplier and employee registries,
to ensure the datasets collected corresponded to those required when hiring or contracting on the shipbuilding project. In addition to providing insight into the development of the workforce and business readiness and development sections of the plan, it is
anticipated it will serve to be an invaluable tool during the next phase of JEDI’s shipbuilding initiative – implementation. It serves
a further benefit of documenting those business and employee skills sets for any additional emerging opportunities pursued by
JEDI and its partners at the Aboriginal regional and community levels.

Understanding The Supply Chain

It is understood that the future training, development and support
activities to be undertaken by JEDI and its partners in the implementation phase must be tied to the private sectors’ requirements for their
workforce and sub-contractors when delivering the requisite goods
and services for the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. At
this time, as Irving Shipbuilding Inc. continues to undertake the design
and definition phase of the project for the Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships,
those specific requirements continue to be defined. Discussions to
date have been held with both Irving Shipbuilding Inc. as well as the
New Brunswick Aerospace and Defense Industry Association to better
appreciate the anticipated requirements and to create the linkages
which better position JEDI to remain currently informed as a more
detailed understanding of the specific needs emerge.

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new brunswick aboriginal shipbuilding engagement strategy

Key Strategic Foundations, Goals and Objectives
Relationships
Formalize the relationships with the Aboriginal leadership and representative organizations.
By the end of 2014 execute an MOU or similar type document with the New Brunswick Aboriginal leadership and the
Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy agreement holders documenting agreed upon roles and responsibilities related to workforce and business participation in the shipbuilding industry.



Initiate semi-annual meetings with said organizations to report on project progress and address any emerging issues.
Formalize the relationships with Irving Shipbuilding Inc. and the member companies and organizations in their supply chain.
By the end of 2014 execute an MOU or similar type document with Irving Shipbuilding Inc. and/or the New Brunswick
Aerospace and Defense Association formalizing the relationship between JEDI and the target organization.
Initiate quarterly meetings/teleconferences with the targeted organizations to track successes and to refine upcoming
supply chain projected requirements.
Formalize the relationship with key Aboriginal community based departments and individuals tasked with business and
workforce development.

By the end of 2014 develop mutually acceptable protocols for information exchange with all New Brunswick’s Aboriginal
Economic Development Officers, Employment Training Officers, Directors of Education and Post-Secondary Education
to ensure timely exchange of information on opportunities and capacities.
Initiate semi-annual meetings with said individuals to report on project progress and address any emerging issues.
Formalize the relationship with the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) and the College communautaire du NouveauBrunswick (CCNB) to assist in the development of linkages between trades training program deliverers and the Aboriginal
communities.
By March 2015 execute an MOU or similar type document with both NBCC and CCNB to create better awareness of
emerging opportunities in the trades for youth considering their career options.

Initiate semi-annual meetings with both NBCC and CCNB to track progress and address emerging issues and
opportunities.
Formalize the relationship with the NB Building Trades Council and Local 1 Canadian Auto Workers – Marine Workers
Federation.
By March 2015 execute an MOU or similar type document with the representative trade union organizations to maximize
the number of New Brunswick Aboriginal workers in the trades.
Initiate protocols for regular updates on opportunities and capacities and meet annually to determine methods to
increase Aboriginal participation in the trades.

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New Brunswick Aboriginal Shipbuilding Engagement Strategy
Communications
Develop systematic communications protocols which inform members of the NB Aboriginal workforce and business community of emerging opportunities.
Develop and maintain electronic mailing lists of individuals and businesses documented in the project database for
distribution of information on emerging opportunities by June 2015.

Create a shipbuilding specific Web site, integrated with appropriate social media sites, to highlight those emerging
opportunities and to profile success stories of New Brunswick Aboriginal participation in the project by April 2015.
Develop promotional materials and programming, in cooperation with community based educational officers and the
ASETS agreement holders, targeting youth at the high school level and current trades workers located out of province,
which informs of emerging opportunities in the trades and other fields in the industry, by December 2015.
Develop an annual trade show and recruitment event, in consultation with Irving Shipbuilding Inc., the New Brunswick
Aerospace and Defense Association and other potential supply chain companies to match capacities with needs, by
September 2015.

Develop systematic communications protocols which inform Irving Shipbuilding Inc. and members of their supply chain of
capacities in the New Brunswick Aboriginal communities.

Develop a report format summarizing the available employment skill sets and specific business capacities in the New
Brunswick Aboriginal community, retrieved from the constantly updated database, by September 2015 and distribute
throughout the supply chain quarterly.

Develop a one window approach system for workforce or contracting needs of the supply chain companies by June
2015.

Workforce Readiness and Development
Maintain a live database of the New Brunswick Aboriginal workforce.
Identify all current databases of the New Brunswick Aboriginal workforce and negotiate with database holders to address privacy issues and to allow for inclusion in the JEDI’s Shipbuilding project database by the end of 2014.
Populate the current workforce database with the additional data sets identified by June 2015.
Develop a systematic approach to updating current database entries and implement said system by September 2015.
Develop a protocol for continuous data input from New Brunswick’s Aboriginal Employment Training Officers, Directors
of Education and Post-Secondary Education by June 2015.
Develop a screening and referral system for Irving Shipbuilding Inc. and the member companies and organizations in their
supply chain.
Document all aspects of the Irving Shipbuilding Inc.’s employee screening system and that of the applicable supply
chain companies for use internally by JEDI prior to all referrals, by the end of 2014.
Develop an in-house employee recruitment and screening unit utilizing Irving/supply chain systems and implement
said screening on an ongoing basis after the end of 2014.
Develop a case management system for potential employees who are initially screened out to address identified deficiencies by the end of 2014.
Initiate a tracking system for individuals referred for employment and refine the internal screening system as required
by the end of 2014.
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new brunswick aboriginal shipbuilding engagement strategy
Increase the number of individuals in the Aboriginal workforce who have essential job readiness skills and related job retention tools.
Facilitate the delivery of New Brunswick Aboriginal Workplace Essential Skills training to 120 individuals by June 2015.
Develop support services for Aboriginals working for Irving Shipbuilding Inc. and members of the supply chain which
address identified barriers to employment retention by September 2015.
Working with all partners create a scholarship fund targeting professional and trade training related to the shipbuilding
industry by the end of 2015.
Develop a system of exit debriefings for any Aboriginal who leaves employment and has self-identified themselves to
JEDI, to document commonalities of issues which should be addressed through support services, by September 2015.
Working with member companies in the supply chain, identify critical mass trades training opportunities and facilitate said
training.
Identify projected workforce requirements for Irving Shipbuilding Inc. and the supply chain companies and prioritize
planned training offerings based on projected need, on an ongoing basis as information becomes available.
Facilitate the delivery of trades training in the targeted programs for 40 individuals by the end of 2015.
Develop an in-school program for Aboriginal high school students throughout New Brunswick which introduces them
to emerging opportunities in the shipbuilding industry by June 2015.

Business Readiness and Development
Maintain a live database of New Brunswick’s Aboriginal business community.
Identify all current databases of New Brunswick Aboriginal businesses and negotiate with database holders to allow for
inclusion in the JEDI’s Shipbuilding project database by the end of 2014.
Populate the current business database with the additional data sets identified by March 2015.
Develop a systematic approach to updating current business database entries and implement said system by June 2015.
Develop a protocol for continuous data input from New Brunswick’s Aboriginal Economic Development Officers by
March 2015.
Develop an understanding of the supply chain sub-contracting requirements and determine New Brunswick Aboriginal
business readiness to meet those requirements.
Document projected contracting requirements within the shipbuilding supply chain on an ongoing basis as those
requirements become known.
Document all requirements to become part of the shipbuilding supply chain by the end of 2014.
Address New Brunswick Aboriginal business readiness deficiencies.
Develop an assessment tool to determine businesses readiness to compete for contracts by November 2014.
Develop a case management system for all businesses in the database to address current deficiencies to compete for
shipbuilding contracts by the end of 2014
Provide individualized assistance to all businesses in the database to address identified deficiencies on an on-going
basis after January 2015.

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New Brunswick Aboriginal Shipbuilding Engagement Strategy
Facilitate the development of mutually beneficial partnerships between New Brunswick’s Aboriginal business community
and non-Aboriginal businesses in the supply chain.
Identify all New Brunswick Aboriginal businesses with an interest in pursuing partnership arrangements with nonAboriginal firms by March 2015.
Create a booklet of business profiles of the identified Aboriginal firms and distribute to non-Aboriginal supply chain
companies by June 2015.
Provide support for Aboriginal companies requiring assistance in negotiating a mutually beneficial partnering arrangement on an ongoing basis after June 2015.
Maximize the business opportunities for New Brunswick Aboriginal businesses who may provide goods and services to the
supply chain not directly related to the inputs for the shipbuilding project.
Create a business directory of all Aboriginal businesses which could provide non-shipbuilding goods and services to the
supply chain companies by June 2015.
Develop a NB Aboriginal business trade show, in close collaboration with the New Brunswick Aerospace and Defense
Association, targeted at companies which are, or have the potential to be within the National Shipbuilding Procurement
Strategy supply chain, by July 2015.

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the way forward - implementation

THE WAY FORWARD – IMPLEMENTATION
Moving forward in an effective and efficient manner will require
a concerted effort by JEDI and its partners to maximize the
potential opportunities related to the National Shipbuilding
Procurement Strategy for the New Brunswick’s Aboriginal
workforce and business community. The first step was the
consolidation of input and feedback received at the June 4,
2014 Plenary where a draft of the strategy was presented. This
was followed by a series of meetings with the New Brunswick
Aboriginal leadership which led to the finalization of the
strategy.
With the finalization of the strategy completed activities
focused on moving forward towards its implementation. The
first of those activities was the development of detailed work
plans, timelines and budgets for each component of the plan.
For each of these separate work plans, identification of all requisite resources including human, financial and infrastructure
was documented and will be utilized for necessary applications to be developed targeted at the funding sources which align with
the specific activities. It is anticipated these activities will be completed by the fall 2014. The activities described to be carried out
in the implementation phase will be contingent upon approval of the required financial resources.
The development of these detailed work plans and budgets was undertaken in close cooperation with the ASETS agreement holders and the front line community workers involved in education, training and business development. It was recognized resources
will be required not only at the provincial level, but also at the regional and community levels to ensure programming success.
Though JEDI may take the lead on securing various programs and associated funding in collaboration with ASETS holders, it is
anticipated that JEDI may not necessarily be the only deliverer of such programs. In fact, tribal councils and ASETS holders are
mandated to deliver technical and other services to their member communities, this indeed is the best arrangement to implement
various projects/training, etc. on behalf of JEDI.
The initial training programming in support of the workforce development initiatives is projected to begin in the spring of 2015 in
preparation for the beginning of the work on the Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships in mid-2015. The front end of that training programming will include an intensive assessment process to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, those individuals streamed into the
training have the highest potential for success possible.
It is anticipated that many of those individuals initially screened out will be offered the opportunity to enroll in an Aboriginal
Workplace Essential Skills training program to better prepare them for the transition to employment specific training. Case
management programming will be developed and individual plans covering pre training, training and on the job supports will
be managed by internal JEDI staff. This programming will continue into the future and be continuously refined, based on the
projected workforce requirements of Irving Shipbuilding Inc. and members of their supply chain.
In parallel to the workforce development activities undertaken in the implementation phase, business support programming will
be developed and plans put in place to support the New Brunswick Aboriginal business community. Detailed assessments of each
Aboriginal business which aspires to become part of Irving Shipbuilding Inc.’s supply chain will be undertaken and any current
deficiencies will be identified. A case management plan will be developed for each of these firms and a Project Officer assigned
to support them as they further develop their business model.
Throughout the implementation phase, JEDI will continue to nurture the relationships which are key to the overall plan’s success.
Its communications activities will be in place to ensure the Aboriginal community remains informed of the emerging opportunities and those in the shipbuilding supply chain are aware of the current and developing capacities of New Brunswick’s Aboriginal
people.

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Fredericton, NB E3A 0A1
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