Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019) and Alberta's Top Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 8, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Keyera Corp. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019) and Alberta's Top Employers (2019):
- As part of the company's health benefits plan, Keyera Corp. offers a health spending account equivalent to 4.5 per cent of their salary plus an additional $3,500 each year, which can be used to top up existing levels of coverage or allocated as savings, cash, share purchase options or RRSP
- Keyera Corp. encourages employees to engage in physical activity with employee-led sports teams and a wellness spending account which can be used to cover the costs of gym membership (to $750 per year) -- employees can also take advantage of an onsite fitness facility with Zumba, yoga and spin classes
- Keyera Corp. cultivates an ownership culture through a share purchase plan and helps employees save for the longer term with a defined contribution pension plan
Keyera leads with unique culture and strong values
As one of the largest companies in Canada's midstream oil and gas sector, Calgary-based Keyera Corp. fosters an open, entrepreneurial culture and a shared commitment to excellence in order to realize its vision of being the North American leader in delivering midstream energy solutions.
"Keyera's culture is unique in this industry," says Eileen Marikar, Vice President - Controller. "The executive team is approachable and people feel comfortable coming forward with ideas and suggestions, or with problems that need solving. Diversity is valued and staff turnover is very low. And the company has strong values, including health and safety, integrity, responsibility and accountability, teamwork and respect."
Keyera owns and operates a network of pipelines, natural gas processing plants, and natural gas liquids and condensate infrastructure in Alberta. It also has operations in Oklahoma and Texas.
"We provide essential services to natural gas and oil sands producers," Marikar says. "We gather and process natural gas and natural gas liquids, and market the byproducts such as propane and butane. In our business, growth comes from capital projects, and so do opportunities and excitement.
"Capital spend is a good measure of our growth and success as a company. Keyera's capital spend has grown from $300 million in 2013 to a projected total of between $1 billion and $1.1 billion in 2018."
James Karperien, who has been with Keyera for four years, enjoys being part of an industry-leading company and appreciates the corporate culture.
"I like the openness here," he says. "There's a wealth of knowledge and a willingness to share it. We feel valued and motivated, and there are a lot of career development opportunities."
Karperien joined the company after graduating from the University of Calgary with a commerce degree majoring in finance. He'd already spent two summer internships with Keyera, in the Corporate Development and Credit Risk Groups, and knew it was where he wanted to work. He started full-time in 2014 as an Analyst in the Treasury Group, then moved in March 2018 to his current position as Advisor, Hedging and Analysis, providing risk management support to the Natural Gas Liquids Marketing Group at Keyera's Calgary headquarters.
"We're encouraged to improve our skills through further education and training," he says. "For example, I've earned my Chartered Financial Analyst designation while working here. The company was very supportive and subsidized the cost."
Keyera also provides internal professional development opportunities for employees at different stages of their careers, through mentoring, training and networking across the company. In addition, future leaders have access to mentorship programs, coaching and annual leadership summits.
"Moving internally to gain diverse experience is highly encouraged at Keyera," says Marikar. "We always post new jobs but give preference to internal hires. And success is rewarded and recognized."
Keyera supports its employees in giving back to their communities, with two paid days off each year for volunteering. It also contributes to the communities where it operates with an investment program centred on four areas: health and wellness, environment, youth and education, and community enhancement.
As well, the company offers a range of employee benefits, including a health spending account equivalent to 4.5% of salary plus an additional $3,500 a year; a wellness spending account; eight flex days a year for appointments, family activities or to pursue personal interests; a share purchase plan; a defined contribution pension plan and an employee assistance program.
"Keyera treats its employees really well," Karperien concludes. "I absolutely do like it here and I plan to stay."
Keyera's employees grow with the company
Five years ago, Ian Wahl faced an important career choice. He'd recently earned a bachelor of education degree with a major in science from the University of Alberta and was substitute teaching when not working at a natural gas plant operated by Keyera Corp. Then he was offered a full-time teaching position. Should he take it, or stay with Keyera?
"I'd had a great experience at Keyera ever since starting in the summer student program while still at university, so I stayed. It was the best decision I ever made," says Wahl, who is now operations foreman, facilities leadership, with overall responsibility for the safe operation of the West Pembina gas plant southwest of Edmonton.
"People sometimes ask if my university education was a waste of time, but it has been a great asset. My knowledge of teaching has been very important in my leadership role as foreman, and my science background is useful because a plant like this is highly technical," he says.
"The potential at Keyera is unlimited because they support your development and continuous improvement. They've tailored a lot of education to me, such as power engineering. Their actions speak loudly - they've always followed through on what they said."
Calgary-based Keyera is a company founded on values, says John Hunszinger, vice-president, operations, liquids infrastructure. Safety is a top priority for the company, as well as health, social and environmental responsibility and community support.
"The culture here is second to none," Hunszinger says. "When we're recruiting, we look for people who will be the best fit with our values. Technical skills are secondary. This company has a family feel and we try to maintain that as we grow, through strong communication and information-sharing, empowerment and teamwork."
Keyera is focused on growth despite the challenges currently facing Alberta's oil and gas industry, Hunszinger adds. "We're positioning ourselves for growth in the future and looking for opportunities in a difficult market. We're investing in projects that provide midstream solutions for our industry and meet the needs of our customers."
Those business opportunities create diverse career opportunities for Keyera employees, says Wahl. "I've seen this throughout the organization. There's a lot of mobility. We have very intelligent and high-achieving people here, people who probably get a lot of other offers, but they choose to stay here, which is significant. It's a solid place to work."