Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc.
Al-Pac employees keeping fit in the company's onsite fitness room

Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017)

Here are some of the reasons why Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2017) and Alberta's Top Employers (2016):

  • As part of Al-Pac's health benefits plan, employees receive an annual "Lifestyle Account", a $2,300 taxable contribution which can be transferred to a non-taxable health spending account and used for additional health coverage
  • Al-Pac provides maternity leave top-up payments for employees who are new mothers, up to 100% of salary for up to 18 weeks
  • As part of the company's "My Time Volunteer Program", Al-Pac encourages employee volunteerism by providing funding (up to $250) to support community initiatives where employees volunteer their time
Al-Pac executives recognizing employees at the company's long service awards with the help of duelling pianos

Employer Background

Industry Pulp and Paper Mills
Parent company Hokuetsu Kishu Paper Co., Ltd.
Parent company head office Tokyo, Japan
Major Canadian hiring locations Athabasca AB, Boyle AB, Lac La Biche AB, Grassland AB
Full-time employees in Canada 408
Part-time employees in Canada 8
Workforce engaged on a contract basis 7.6%
Average age of employees in Canada 44
Longest serving employee 27 years

Physical Workplace A+

Commuter amenities car-pool sign-up program, free parking
Workplace features the recently renovated administration building features a reception area with a large aquarium stocked with native fish from the Athabasca River (filled with treated wastewater to help demonstrate the facility's pollution treatment system), religious observance room, self-serve lunchroom, outdoor barbecue, outdoor patio
Employee lounge amenities comfortable seating, music, television, free snacks and meals to celebrate special occasions
Onsite cafeteria healthy menus
Onsite fitness facility for employees only, free membership, treadmills, stationary bikes, stairmasters, instructor-led classes (boot camp held periodically), weights, shower facilities, weigh scales, television and music system, healthy lifestyle magazines, outside includes baseball diamonds, a golf driving range (with free ball dispenser), beach volleyball courts, horseshoe pitches, walking trails and a 40-acre stocked trout pond
Other nearby amenities Fenner Park, Poachers Landing Recreation Area, Fishing Pond and Cabin (complete with dock and row boat for when employees need to take a unique Canadian-style break), restaurant and cardlock gas station

Work Atmosphere & Communications A+

Employee social committee name Collectively Yours Social Club (est. 1993)
Recent social events pre-shutdown breakfast (April) and post-shutdown steak BBQ (May), summer family day picnic with children's fishing derby, beach volleyball games during the summer months, annual golf tournament for charity, annual National Aboriginal Day luncheon, Halloween costume and pumpkin carving contests, Christmas party (with a separate holiday party for employees' children), ice-fishing derby, annual long-service awards dinner
Cultural aspects employee sports teams, business casual dress, casual dress (e.g. jeans) daily, music while working, can bring pets to work when needed
Employee communications intranet site, company newsletter, traditional/email suggestion box

Financial Benefits & Compensation A+

Outside salary surveys participates in outside salary surveys every 12 months
Employee salary reviews individual salaries are reviewed every 12 months
Long-term savings defined-contribution (DC) pension, matching RSP
Long-term planning retirement planning assistance, phased-in retirement work options, life & disability insurance
Profit-sharing plan available to all employees
Referral bonuses new employee referral bonuses (up to $5,000) for some positions
Signing bonuses available for some positions
Additional financial benefits profit-sharing plan paid over $8,400 per employee last year, interest free home loans (to $25,000) for new employees relocating to region, special discounts for employees at a variety of outside suppliers, from Mark's Work Wearhouse to Kal Tire to hotel stays

Health & Family-Friendly Benefits A

Health plan premium as part of the health plan, the employer pays up to 100% of the premiums
Flexible coverage health plan is flexible with adjustable premiums and coverage levels
Minimum hours worked for coverage 20 hours per week
Waiting period there is no waiting period for coverage
Family coverage option yes
Dental coverage routine, restorative, orthodontics
Traditional coverage (e.g. prescription drugs) yes
Additional coverage employee assistance (EAP) plan, semi-private hospital room, physiotherapy, medical travel insurance, homecare, medical equipment and supplies, podiatrist, osteopathy, chiropractor, alternative coverage (e.g. accupuncture, naturopathy)
Health spending account up to $300 each year
Other health plan information health spending account can be carried forward into the next calendar year, employees receive an annual $2,300 taxable Lifestyle Account contribution (funds can also be transferred to non-taxable health spending account)
Maternity top-up (mothers) up to 100% of salary for 18 weeks
Additional family-friendly benefits academic scholarships of up to $1,250 per child
Alternative work options flexible work hours, shortened work week (fewer hours with less pay), compressed work week, telecommuting, reduced summer hours
Additional family-friendly information compassionate top-up payments are determined on a case-by-case basis, summer student program, new moms can adjust their schedule upon their return to work, including coming in a little later and departing a little earlier

Vacation & Personal Time-Off A+

Vacation allowance new employees receive 4 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job
Vacation jump vacation increases after 4 years of employment
Maximum vacation allowance employees move to a maximum of 7.5 weeks of vacation over their career
Previous experience considers previous work experience when setting annual vacation for new employees
Company paid days off employees receive 12 personal days off, as determined by their employer
Unpaid leave maximum 6 months
Additional time-off information paid personal days are granted to teams as required (average of 12 days), company hosts a Christmas raffle for an extra week off (awarded to four lucky employees last year), employees have the option to sell back up to 1 week of vacation each year (employees can sell back in 10 hour increments, up to 40 hours each year)

Employee Engagement & Performance A

Employee performance reviews employees receive individual performance reviews every 12 months
Managers receive performance review training yes
360° feedback option as part of the review process, performance feedback is also solicited from co-workers and other managers familiar with each employee's work
Confidential employee feedback employees can also provide confidential feedback on their manager's performance
Exit interview exit interview option is available for departing employees
Performance recognition individual performance bonuses, on-the-spot rewards, long-service awards, excellent (and safety) performance recognized with tickets to sporting and entertainment events, company-paid social events and company merchandise, long service dinner after 10 years on-the-job (and every 5th year thereafter), unique team support bonus for off-site team building social activities (to $300 per employee)
In-house survey period in-house surveys are conducted every 24 months

Training & Skills Development A+

In-house training initiatives apprenticeship/skilled trades programs, in-house training, online training, paid internships, subsidies for professional accreditation
Tuition subsidies (related to job) yes
Tuition subsidy coverage employer covers up to 100% of tuition per year
Tuition subsidies (unrelated to job) yes
Unrelated tuition subsidy coverage employer covers up to 100% of non-related tuition per year
Financial bonuses for course completions yes
Unique training & development programs Aboriginal apprenticeship program, leadership development program, financial bonuses for the completion of certain accreditation range from $1,500 to $10,000

Community Involvement A

Scope of charitable involvement local
Employee charitable involvement employees are involved in selection of charities, employees receive paid time off to volunteer
Total employee volunteer hours (on company time) over 10,000 hours last year
Total number of charities supported last year approximately 115 charitable and community organizations were supported last year
Some of the community organizations supported Wa-no Kaze Kai Club, Tough Mudder Alberta, St. Michael Haying in the 30s, Al-Pac Aboriginal Community Golf Tourney, Bigstone Cree Nation Youth, Fort McKay Hockey Society, Edmonton Kinsmen Club, Northern Lights Spiritus SingersAssociation
Charitable giving matches employee volunteer hours with company donations
Community highlight As part of the company's My Time Volunteer Program, Al-pac supports employees by providing funding to community initiatives where employees volunteer their time (up to $250). The program also extends to community initiatives, including minor hockey and other sports where employees are involved. Additionally, Al-pac encourages employee involvement through its Team Member Charity Fund, providing up to $250 to cover registration fees when participating in fundraising activities, and the Event Service Provider Program, which organizes volunteers for local charitable initiatives. Al-Pac's generous Community Enhancement Program awards up to $25K to community and non-profit organizations that undertake community improvement projects.

Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2016)

Here are some of the reasons why Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2016):

  • To encourage students to consider a career at Al-Pac, the organization hosts a "Career Week", with mill tours, business unit information booths, give-a-ways and door prizes -- Al-Pac also offers field and facility tours to students and youth, and attends Aboriginal community career fairs such as the Bigstone Education Authority Career Fair
  • In partnership with "Careers: The Next Generation" and community high schools, Al-Pac provides training to students interested in a career in trades and accepts a number of heavy equipment technician, electrician, millwright, welder and steamfitter-pipefitter positions annually
  • Al-Pac manages paid and unpaid co-op programs in partnership with Portage College and Northern Lakes College, with work terms ranging from 4 weeks to 6 months for power engineering students -- and also offers internship opportunities to help them obtain the required steam time hours over the course of three consecutive summer work terms
Al-Pac steam-fitter and pipe-fitter apprentice repairing piping

Highlights

Industry Pulp and Paper Mills
Major Canadian hiring locations Athabasca AB, Boyle AB, Lac La Biche AB, Grassland AB
Full-time employees in Canada 435
Student opportunities summer jobs, co-op opportunities, paid internships
Tuition subsidies (related to job) yes
Career development in-house training, online training, online employee skills inventory, apprenticeship/skilled trades programs
Vacation allowance new employees receive 4 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job
Unique initiatives Aboriginal Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP), to help up to four Aboriginal apprentices each year enter trades (millwright, steamfitter-pipefitter, instrument technician, electrician and welder)

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