Youth & Education / Recruitment

To promote the tremendous opportunities ahead for the forest sector, we are involved in activities to attract new employees and encourage students to pursue disciplines related to the company’s core business.

In 2017, we attended 48 career events in Canada and 19 in the United States, including First Nations job/career fairs. Our executives and other company representatives meet regularly with students from post-secondary institutions to discuss the many career options available with Canfor and Canfor Pulp, as well as participating in formal mentoring programs with targeted academic programs. Our Pulp 101 and Sawmill 101 training videos are used to introduce the company at recruitment events and tailored material for student recruitment is provided.

We were pleased to be selected as one of Canada’s Best Employers for Recent Graduates with The Career Directory, a guide for new graduates published by the Canada’s Top 100 Employers team. Thousands of employers are reviewed to publish a guide aimed at helping new graduates find jobs that make the most of their university degree or college diploma.

As we expand our operations in the US South, our need for more skilled workers increases. In 2017, we donated $25,000 to the South Arkansas Community College in El Dorado, AR, and $10,000 to Horry Georgetown Technical School in Conway, SC. The two technical schools will use the funds for advanced manufacturing centres to increase training space for the key trades we rely on. The capacity investment includes a Canfor Southern Pine classroom in Conway.

Our maintenance leadership sits on the advisory board for Horry Georgetown’s Advanced Manufacturing Center, and is helping to steer the maintenance technician program curriculum, equipment purchases and apprenticeship requirements.  

Canfor Pulp once again received a Certification of Recognition from the Industry Training Authority to recognize the apprenticeship program at our three Prince George pulp mills and our involvement in providing training opportunities through the College of New Caledonia’s Career Technical Centre program.

We continue to offer valuable work experience and skill development for students across our corporate, solid wood and pulp operations, with summer student, co-op and intern opportunities. We are proud to provide medical and dental benefits for any temporary worker on a contract for three months or longer. It is a great way to introduce young adults to our company and our industry as we support them in their career growth through coaching, training and mentoring.

For close to 60 years, we have supported the University of British Columbia in many ways – including non-research and research funding and work experience opportunities that offer value to our company and the wider forest sector. Since 1958, we have contributed more than $3 million for grants, campaigns and scholarships. Since we began our partnership with the faculties of applied science, forestry and science, we have offered 555 co-op placements.

In September, Canfor donated a Vollmer CHC20 top and face grinder to Thompson Rivers University in Williams Lake, BC. This is an important piece of equipment for sawfilers, and our donation means students at the university can practice operating, repairing and adjusting it.

In May, our Moultrie plant hosted 32 students from the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry. They were touring several mills as an introduction to the forest industry. And in September, Canfor Pulp welcomed chemical and biological engineering students from the University of British Columbia on a tour of Northwood pulp mill in Prince George. It gave the students a chance to network with Canfor Pulp representatives and managers from other local companies.

We continue to sponsor the Prince George Construction Association’s annual Heavy Metal Rocks work experience, now in its 13th year. The four-day learning opportunities offers 32 high school students – 27 boys and five girls – on-the-job trades experience and highlights career opportunities in construction-related trades.

Approximately 30 high school students took part in the Rotary Club of Prince George’s Adventures in Forestry and Environmental Studies Program and were provided an opportunity to visit our Prince George sawmill, J.D. Little Forest Centre and Northwood pulp mill. The Canfor Elementary Trades Program has been introducing Prince George elementary students to careers in trades for some time now – and in 2017 we outfitted a mobile trades workshop so it can travel to local schools.

Canfor and the University of Northern British Columbia continue to partner to deliver a unique fourth-year course where our forest professionals teach students about operational practices and implementation throughout the entire supply chain of forest management. In Burnaby, BC, Canfor Pulp Innovation Centre offers co‑op placements to give students a better understanding of how innovative and forward-looking the forest industry can be.  

In 2017, we awarded $53,000 through our scholarship and bursary programs. Our scholarship programs support forestry, wood products manufacturing and engineering studies, as well as studies leading to millwright, electrician, power engineer, instrument technician, welder and heavy-duty mechanic designations.

In 2017, we awarded scholarships to high school students from our operating communities. In the fifth year of the Bentley-Prentice scholarships for children of Canfor employees, we recognized seven students for academic excellence. We work with secondary and post-secondary institutions to provide financial support to students pursuing studies in forestry, including dedicated support for First Nations students. We provided bursaries to four students from Ktunaxa Nation to help them pursue studies related to forestry or trades. We also proudly invested more than $12,000 to sponsor Dry Grads at 13 schools in British Columbia and Alberta.

Through our continued partnership with New Relationship Trust Foundation, which was signed in 2012, we continue to provide a number of scholarships and bursaries to First Nations students.

We believe referrals from existing employees are a great way to attract people who are interested in a career with Canfor and reward our employees for referring strong talent. Through our Employee Referral Program, we offer a cash award to employees who refer candidates who are successfully hired. All employees who refer a candidate are also entered into a quarterly draw for Canfor merchandise. In 2017, there were 928 referrals submitted, and over $57,000 in cash awards paid out to employees. In Canada, 8.9% of our new hires were referred by employees.