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 (2016)

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

  • Al-Pac's new employees can take advantage of an interest free home loan (to $25,000) when moving to the region -- and once there the unique work environment features a number of unique amenities including baseball diamonds, golf driving range, beach volleyball court, horseshoe pitch, walking trails and a 16 hectare stocked trout pond, fully-equipped fitness facility with free memberships, and employee lounge with outdoor patio and picnic tables
  • Al-Pac offers new employees up to four weeks paid vacation, with the option to take the fourth week as time-off or as additional income, a flexible personal time off program as part of their health plan (with employees averaging 12 personal days off each year), and each employee receives an annual $3,800 taxable lifestyle contribution that can be used towards alternative health coverage or even to purchase more vacation time
Al-Pac undergoing maintenance and repair during its annual shutdown
Al-Pac employees and their families at the annual Family Fishing Derby
Al-Pac team members after participating in the Mud Hero Challenge

Employer Background

Industry Pulp and Paper Mills
Parent company Hokuetsu Kishu Paper Co., Ltd.
Full-time employees in Canada 435
Part-time employees in Canada 12
Workforce engaged on a contract basis 8.3%
Average age of employees in Canada 45
Longest serving employee 26 years

Physical Workplace

Commuter amenities car-pool sign-up program, free parking
Workplace features reception area features a large aquarium and stocked with native fish from the Athabasca River (filled with treated wastewater to help demonstrate the facility's pollution treatment system), onsite baseball diamonds, golf driving range (with free ball dispenser), beach volleyball courts, horseshoe pitches, walking trails and a 40-acre stocked trout pond, 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 (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, completely renovated to include new equipment, flooring and paint
Other nearby amenities Fenner Park, Poachers Landing Provincial Park

Work Atmosphere & Communications

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, Halloween costume and pumpkin carving contests, Christmas party (with a separate holiday party for employees' children), 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

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 $5,800 per employee last year, interest free home loans (to $25,000) for new employees relocating to region

Health & Family-Friendly Benefits

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), annual $3800 taxable lifestyle contribution that can be used towards non-insured health coverages and or to purchase additional vacation time, a $300 non-taxable health spending contribution (which can be carried forward to a maximum of $4,100) and is paid directly to each employee at the end of the year as taxable income or transferred to the non-taxable health spending account
In vitro fertilization (IVF) $6,000 per lifetime
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

Vacation & Personal Time-Off

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 vacation increases to 4.25 weeks after four years on the job, moving to 5.5 weeks after 10 years on the job and 7.5 weeks for its longest serving employees, compressed (7am to 5pm) four-day work week option that features three day weekends every week, and paid personal days are granted to teams as required with the average of 12 days for teams across the company

Employee Engagement & Performance

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), annual raffle for an additional paid week off with the winner selected at the Christmas party
In-house survey period in-house surveys are conducted every 24 months

Training & Skills Development

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

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 Alberta Cancer Foundation, Amisk Community School, Lac La Biche Active Kids Society, and three organizations received support ($25K each) through Al-Pac's Community Enhancement Program, including the Lac La Biche Active Kids Society, Lac La Biche Hope Haven Society and the Provista Community Association
Charitable giving matches employee volunteer hours with company donations
Community highlight As part of the company's "My Time Volunteer Program", the company supports employees by providing funding to support (to $250) those community initiatives where employees volunteer their time. The program is not restricted to charities but extends to community initiatives as well, including minor hockey and other sports where employees are involved. The company also encourages employee involvement through its "Team Member Charity Fund" and "Event Service Provider Program" initiatives.

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
Al-Pac employees pose as green army action figures for Halloween

Highlights

Industry Pulp and Paper Mills
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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