Recognized as one of BC's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 22, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Coquitlam, City of was selected as one of BC's Top Employers (2018):
- City of Coquitlam employees can freely access a nearby aquatic centre, which includes a variety of exercise equipment, a swimming pool, a running track and a sauna
- Employees at the City of Coquitlam are encouraged to plan for the longer term with retirement planning assistance and generous contributions to a defined benefit pension plan
- City of Coquitlam supports its new moms with maternity leave top-up payments (95% of salary for 17 weeks)
Coquitlam City employees ride a fast-track to growth
Andrew Merrill loves working for the City of Coquitlam because it allows him to take the fast-track to career advancement and community engagement -- literally and figuratively.
Merrill, Manager Community Planning, is excited about the completion of the new Evergreen rapid transit line that's just opened in his Greater Vancouver municipality of 145,000 residents. Coquitlam was growing fast before the line began operating and now the pace is just going to increase. And that's fine with him.
"There are many unique opportunities here in Coquitlam," says Merrill. "The new rapid transit line is a real opportunity for the City to look at growth around the stations and also to renew and refresh some of our neighbourhood centres."
Coquitlam, once a sleepy bedroom suburb of Vancouver, has become an urban centre in its own right. While that may mean challenges for Merrill and the rest of Coquitlam's employees as they tackle community and organizational growth, they feel ready to meet them because of a supportive work environment.
"You get to punch above your weight in Coquitlam," says Merrill. "We have a leadership development program that takes people from across the organization and exposes them to different perspectives so that they're learning from their peers while also getting great training opportunities to enhance their leadership skills."
In addition to leadership training and other education benefits, Coquitlam offers its employees a healthy work-life balance, with access to City recreational facilities, including fully-equipped fitness facilities. New mothers are supported with maternity leave top-up payments of 95 per cent of salary for 17 weeks.
The City's commitment to engaging the community also excites Merrill, who started as an intern nine years ago.
"I really enjoy our Canada Day Festival, one of the larger ones in the Lower Mainland," he says. "It gives employees an opportunity to reach out to members of the community, to step out of their day-to-day work role and to get a better understanding to help you do your job better."
That and the arrival of rapid transit has both potential employees and residents piling onto the fast-track to experience the excitement says Nikki Caulfield, Director of Human Resources and Corporate Planning.
"Coquitlam has a buzz to it right now," says Caulfield. "This is an unprecedented time to be part of an organization and a corporate culture that people are passionate about. Our employees are contributing in a real way to the growth and positive progress of our community."