Recognized as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2016)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 3, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why AltaGas Ltd. was selected as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2016):
- AltaGas supports employees with college-bound children through an annual scholarship program and offers summer employment opportunities for students currently pursuing post-secondary studies
- In addition to AltaGas' health benefits plan, the organization offers a flexible spending account, which enables employees to allocate additional funds to a health spending account or offset wellness-based expenses, such as gym membership, fitness classes and sports equipment
- AltaGas supports a number of charitable organizations each year, focusing on health and social services, education initiatives and sponsorship of initiatives that offer access to the arts -- the company also encourages employees to give back in their local community with paid time off to volunteer
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2017)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 9, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why AltaGas Ltd. was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2017):
- To help recent grads gain career-level experience, AltaGas created a 2-year new graduate development program -- the program features regular social activities, such as networking, mentoring from a senior-level representative and a formal ceremony to recognize participants who complete the program
- AltaGas sponsors three scholarships for Mount Royal University students, recognizing excellence in Business Administration and Communications/Public Relations
AltaGas fosters New Graduate career development
Heidi Aly and Candice McBride are university business graduates who have become good friends and co-workers since joining Calgary-based AltaGas in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Both are recent participants in the energy infrastructure company's unique and highly competitive New Graduate Program, which takes promising business and engineering candidates and places them in four consecutive six-month rotations across the company's business segments.
Each year, AltaGas leaders evaluate thousands of applications and select, at most, eight successful New Graduate participants. It is, by definition, a process of choosing the best and the brightest. Since the program's inception in 2007, it has also spawned a highly skilled set of alumni who support each other, as well as new participants, in what Nicole Arienzale, Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development, describes as "a best-in-class" career development initiative.
"We have a community of graduates who are achieving wonderful things as they grow their careers at AltaGas," says Arienzale. "Participants in the New Graduate Program are offered a 'big picture' view of the organization that helps prepare them for whatever career path they take."
At the outset, each participant is assigned a senior executive who acts as their personal mentor. In Aly's case, that person was AltaGas's then Chief Financial Officer, Debbie Stein.
"I did not expect to be assigned a lead executive as my mentor," says Aly. "Through the mentorship program, Debbie and I met on a regular basis and she provided me with knowledge about the business as well as advice about my desired career path. My mentorship experience was valuable and rewarding."
Program participants are typically greeted on their first day of work by a gathering of past alumni. This provides them with an immediate network of contacts they can subsequently reach out to whenever they have questions about company practices and procedures.
New participants are also assigned an individual "buddy" who is currently enrolled in the program. This person helps them get further acclimatized to the company or, in McBride's case, to a new city.
"Heidi, who graduated a year before me, was assigned to be my buddy," says McBride. "She helped me adapt to my new surroundings after moving to Calgary from a remote small town in northern British Columbia."
That sense of shared community extends well beyond the workplace. All AltaGas employees are given two paid days a year to volunteer at a charity of their choice. Current and past members of the New Graduate Program regularly pool their resources to help out at local homeless and emergency shelters and to support causes like the United Way, Habitat for Humanity and the Junior Achievement Program.
They also participate in extra-curricular activities together outside of work. "One year, we set up a softball team, which was a fun teambuilding activity," says Aly. "We are more than just colleagues; we are friends."
After rotating through key segments of the company, both Aly and McBride joined the Enterprise Reporting division as Reporting Analysts. They credit the New Graduate Program with helping them determine their career paths.
"I came into AltaGas with an open mind and was excited to learn about the different opportunities within the industry," says McBride. "By rotating through the Regulatory, Treasury, Gas Accounting and Risk departments, I got a good feel for the kind of position I'm best suited for – one where I'm constantly challenged in a fast-paced environment where there are lots of deadlines."
Beyond the program itself, both women say the entire corporate culture at AltaGas is collaborative and supportive.
"We have quarterly coaching sessions with our managers where we always discuss next steps," says Aly. "Management encourages you to grow and provides you with the support you need to pursue a long-term career."