Dressed in highlighter-yellow jackets with bright-orange cones in hand, traffic control students line up along Park Ave. for the second day of their BC Construction Safety Alliance certification course.
On the first day, students learn the responsibilities of a traffic controller and have to pass an exam. Then they hit the road for single lane and alternating lane traffic exercises to hone in on their skills.
“The challenge is the traffic itself. A lot of people, unfortunately, think we’re just cones, and they don’t think they have to listen to us,” says Dennis Hannam, traffic control trainer. “This not only shows us if they can do the job themselves, but it also tells them if they want to do the job.”
At the end of the course, students earn their three-year Traffic Control Persons (TCP) certification, which allows them to work on construction projects throughout the province.
“They can take these tickets anywhere they want to and find a job,” Hannam says. “We know that [in 2019] there is a lot of construction work going on, especially in the Northwest. The call for TCPs is quite high.”
Joseph Goosen, 41, was one of the seven students directing traffic on Jan. 24.
He says he’s been working to get all of his certifications up to date for job opportunities on upcoming construction projects in the Northwest, including the roundabout on the intersection of Hwy 16 and 37, the CN rail overpass on Hwy 16 between Prince Rupert and Terrace, and the LNG Canada facility in Kitimat.
“Flaggers are all of a sudden in high demand,” Goosen says. “Everything’s booming now, and now’s the time to get all of these certifications done.”