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 TransLink (South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority) was selected as one of BC's Top Employers (2018):
- TransLink's LEED Gold-certified head office features an impressive 2,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art fitness facility that includes a private studio area with personal trainer services and a variety of instructor-led classes, from stretch and relax to ski fit classes -- employee memberships are free
- TransLink helps to develop the next generation of employees with summer student opportunities, co-op internships and apprenticeships and formal mentoring programs
- TransLink provides a maternity leave top-up for its new mothers (to 100% of salary for 6 weeks) and also offers parents the option to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence -- some locations offer access to onsite daycare
Building careers at the TransLink enterprise
Five years ago, Jesse Koehler left a job as a transportation planner with the City of San Francisco and joined TransLink, the regional transportation authority for Metro Vancouver, and he couldn't be happier.
"It's a really exciting place to work," says Koehler, who is currently Project Director for a planned six-kilometre extension of the SkyTrain rapid transit system. "The best part of the job is working with smart, passionate people and on projects that improve the quality of life in the communities we serve."
TransLink's mandate is unique among North American transportation authorities. It is responsible for planning and designing, as well as funding, developing and delivering public transit, major roads and bridges, and cycling routes over a region that includes 23 local governments.
"This is an organization that values development, hard work and allowing employees to cut their teeth in different areas and to move both vertically and laterally," says Koehler. "We have such a broad portfolio, there are natural opportunities to work with folks in different divisions."
It is also an organization that places a high priority on customer service -- particularly when it comes to employees who deal directly with the public. "They say they can teach anybody to drive a bus," says Claire Madill, who joined Coast Mountain Bus Company, a subsidiary of TransLink, two years ago as a Conventional Transit Operator, or bus driver, after running her own custom jewellery design business. "It's the customer service experience and background they're looking for."
Madill says she has continued to learn through doing the job and by drawing on the experience of colleagues. "TransLink is such a big organization, but I've found there are a lot of passionate people here," she says. "People are really generous with their knowledge and expertise."
Ryan Mendoza worked as a loss prevention officer for a major retailer before becoming a SkyTrain Attendant in 2001. He, too, likes the collegial atmosphere and the opportunities to grow and develop. "Any time our schedule permits, we're able to take professional development courses to make us better attendants," says Mendoza. "That's one of the cool things about SkyTrain."
Koehler works in a very different part of the organization, but has been equally impressed with the openness of colleagues. "I work with a really exciting team," he says. "Everybody has to have strong technical skills, but they also have to be highly collaborative and willing to build consensus."