Recognized as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 19, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why Edmonton Regional Airports Authority was selected as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2019):
- Edmonton Regional Airports Authority provides maternity leave top-up payments for employees who are new mothers, to 93% of salary for up to 17 weeks
- Edmonton Regional Airports Authority encourages ongoing employee development through a variety of in-house specialized training, apprenticeships and mentoring programs, as well as tuition subsidies for courses at outside institutions
- Edmonton Regional Airports Authority employees are encouraged to keep fit with subsidized access to an onsite fitness facility
ERAA's reach goes far beyond its runways and taxiways
If there's one thing you can pretty much guarantee about people who work for the Edmonton Regional Airports Authority, it's that they love being around airplanes.
Scott Hammond has been an equipment operator for eight years with the airports authority, which oversees Edmonton International Aiport, the coldest, snowiest, most northerly international airport in Canada. Hammond spends much of his shift cleaning the runways and taxiways at the international airport, working on everything from tractors and Bobcats to sweeper trucks and Ramp Hogs. "Work's involved, but you're doing it on an airfield, where there's constantly lots of action," says Hammond. "You never get tired of watching those airplanes take off and land."
Kirstan Jewell's grandfather was a pilot and she, like Hammond, has always had an affinity for airplanes and airports. But she was also drawn to the authority because of its business model - to enhance the economic prosperity of the region.
"We have a noble cause that revolves around uniting people for a world of possibilities," says Jewell, vice-president of human resources and organizational effectiveness. "When making decisions about how to spend our capital, we're thinking about who in the community would benefit from it and how do we enhance that."
Because the regional authority has stayed true to its growth strategy, management was able to preserve every employee's job during the last downturn. "We were able to reallocate our staff - people took on different things we needed done," says Jewell. "It's pretty neat to be part of something where we put people first and we continued to grow."
The airport world is a complex one, more like a city than anything else. And because what employees there do has an impact on everyone who flies into, out of or through the airport, teamwork is essential. "At the end of the day, we've got to get the people off the ground," says Hammond. "And it's our job to make sure the airfield is safe for that."
Teams also have time together at quarterly information sessions, parties and barbeques, at company-organized golf tournaments, charity events and community days. And there is plenty of opportunity to move to another team. Each person at the authority has an employee development plan, Jewell explains, and they're encouraged to come forward about what experience or education they want to gain.
And then, there are those other benefits. "I've been lucky enough to be able to explore military and cargo aircraft, go into the cockpits and talk to the flight crews," says Hammond. "That's just a huge thrill."