Recognized as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 20, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Beaver Municipal Solutions was selected as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2018):
- Beaver Municipal Solutions supports employees who are new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments, to 95% of salary for up to 17 weeks
- As part of the organization's health benefits plan, Beaver Municipal Solutions offers a health spending account of up to $850 per year, allowing employees to top up coverage to suit their personal needs -- employees also receive a wellness spending account of up to $500 per year
- Beaver Municipal Solutions encourages ongoing employee development with subsidies for tuition and professional accreditation, and provides opportunities for the next generation to gain meaningful career experience through summer employment and paid internships
Beaver Municipal Solutions turns surplus into benefit
When Pierre Breau became General Manager of Beaver Municipal Solutions (BMS) in the village of Ryley, Alta., he knew that the surrounding community could prosper from its singular endowment: it sits on one of the largest and most impervious clay soil structures in Canada, which makes it an ideal location for BMS's landfill site.
For almost 20 years, the five communities responsible for overseeing BMS had delegated its operations to a third party. After the contract expired, the organization's community overseers gave Breau the mandate to make BMS profitable, not just for its own sake, but for the communities and the employees as well.
In addition to serving about 10,000 residents and businesses around Beaver County, BMS provides waste management services for Edmonton's Capital Region, about 85 km to the west. It also provides advanced waste treatment, recycling and remediation technologies to municipal and industrial customers.
"It's a competitive business," says Breau, an engineer who has more than three decades of experience in public works and infrastructure.
Jeannine Kelly first heard of BMS through a friend at the 4H Club. As Administrative Assistant -- Mechanical and Parts, Kelly spent two weeks learning to use the organization's enterprise software system to order and keep track of parts and service for BMS's compactors, dozers, graders, semis and other equipment.
"I'm interested in cars and trucks, I have a passion for software, and I'm really organized," says Kelly, who will soon complete her first year with BMS. "All these skills really help in my work."
From Kelly's perspective, customer service is a significant part of her job. "But my customers work for BMS," she says.
With a focus on customer service -- along with the acquisition of new business, recruiting new employees and operating safely and efficiently -- the 61 full- and part-time employees of BMS have turned the organization since 2011 into a source of community pride as well as financial stability. In six years, revenues have more than tripled, to $22 million, while debt has been eliminated. BMS now distributes $2 million a year to the communities under which it operates, and its employees receive an annual bonus equivalent to five per cent to 37.5 per cent of their basic pay.
"We're one of the few, if only, publicly owned organization in Alberta that I know of that has a bonus program for every employee, right to the transfer station attendant," says Breau.