Recognized as one of BC's Top Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 8, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why BC Hydro was selected as one of BC's Top Employers (2017):
- BC Hydro supports employees through the many phases of parenthood, from a subsidy for in-vitro fertilization (to $15,000) if needed, to maternity leave top-up payments for new moms (to 87% of salary for 17 weeks) to an academic scholarship program for children of employees who pursue post-secondary studies (to $2,000 per child)
- First established in 1966, BC Hydro's longstanding employee social club organizes a number of impressive events every year, from National Aboriginal Day celebrations to a children's Christmas party to an annual hockey tournament, with over 500 participating employees
- BC Hydro helps employees plan for the future with retirement planning assistance and enrollment in a defined benefit pension plan -- employees nearing retirement age may also take advantage of phased-in retirement work options
BC Hydro offers a powerful grid of opportunity
Mike Ferguson describes the progress he's made in his long career at BC Hydro as travelling "the lattice of success." Not the ladder, he says, because, at any company, there are only so many places at the top. "Lattice allows people to expand their learning and expertise," he explains.
Ferguson, who lives and works as a Field Manager on Salt Spring Island, is also studying for a master's degree in adult education at the University of Calgary. In his three decades at BC Hydro, he's had a variety of jobs in different locations.
"When I started as a temporary worker who had just arrived from Nova Scotia, with a Red Seal ticket in Power Line Technician trade, I wanted to see how electricity worked in a big city," he says. In Vancouver, he worked his way up to sub-foreman before asking for a transfer to the Gulf Islands.
In 2006, Ferguson started working with BC Hydro Training and Development on the Apprentice Power Line Technician training team. He travelled the province to help mentor technicians and worked at BC Hydro's "school," the new version of which opened in Surrey in 2013. He and several other trainers completed their provincial instructor's diploma through Vancouver Community College. "We learned to be more than tradespeople with a knack for teaching, we learned to be professional trades instructors," he says. "Internal or external, the learning is amazing in this organization."
The diploma qualified and inspired Ferguson to sign up for his master's degree, which he is completing while helping to keep the Salt Spring Island lights on. When 2017's major winter storms had him out working overtime every day for a month, he sent a note to his professor, who told him not to stress and extended his deadline.
Careers like Ferguson's are not out of the ordinary at BC Hydro. Janet Fraser, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and Chief Human Resources Officer, says the company strives not only to have a diverse workforce but to offer "diversity in the variety of work we do. We provide opportunities for people to have many different careers."
"I think I'm another example," says Fraser, a CPA by training, who's worked in finance, market operations and regulatory as well as leading the HR and communications groups at BC Hydro. With the company in the midst of a major capital investment program, she says, even more opportunities are opening up for employees "to work on exciting, leading-edge projects."
Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2016)
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 23, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why BC Hydro was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2016):
- To support the employment efforts of new Canadian job-seekers, BC Hydro encourages managers to hire skilled newcomers at junior-level positions and provides a defined career advancement plan, which includes timelines for performance and development reviews -- and recognizes provisional membership to regulatory bodies such as the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta
- In addition, BC Hydro employees volunteer as assessors of credentials and applications of internationally trained professionals for APEGBC accreditation, and also explore ways to make registration more accessible to new Canadians
- BC Hydro created an Aboriginal education and employment strategy and maintains a dedicated team that focuses on the recruitment of Aboriginal candidates -- the organization also manages an Aboriginal Business Directory to profile businesses looking for contracting and subcontracting opportunities (free for businesses to register)
Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2016)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 21, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why BC Hydro was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2016):
- In addition to longstanding support of Bike to Work Week, BC Hydro and its employees operate a unique "Bike Buddy Network" to help employees who regularly bike to work connect as well as provide resources for employees who are new to bicycle commuting, such as tips on gear purchase, safety and route selection -- employees can also participate in the organization's carpool program and are encouraged to take transit to meetings through a reimbursement program
- BC Hydro supports approximately 75 Green Leaders who represent 39 locations across the province -- each year, Green Leaders participate in leadership training and meet to discuss green strategies for the upcoming year
- BC Hydro maintains an ongoing program to replace its fleet vehicles with more efficient models as new technology becomes available (its fleet now includes more than 140 hybrid and electric vehicles) -- the organization also implements ongoing office renovations designed to meet LEED Gold certification standards, with plans for future renovations and construction at other locations targeted to meet an ambitious 30 percent reduction in water and energy use
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 BC Hydro was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2017):
- Through BC Hydro's Graduate Technologist-in-Training program, the organization provides structured career development and on-the-job training to employees -- the program ranges from 2 to 4 years in length and includes classroom training, presentations, technical courses and seminars
- In addition, BC Hydro manages a 2-year Engineer-in-Training program for recent engineering grads that includes rotations through multiple areas of the organization as well as technical training and professional development
- BC Hydro established a Communications Protection and Control Technologist Trainee program which features 4 months of technical training, in-house classroom training and self-study assignments with annual written and practical exams