West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.
Employees working in the control room of West Fraser's Quesnel River Pulp mill  

Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers

Here are some of the reasons why West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019) and BC's Top Employers (2018) :

  • West Fraser supports ongoing employee skills development through tuition subsidies for courses at outside institutions and numerous in-house training initiatives -- and reaches out to the next generation through an ongoing partnership with the College of New Caledonia, offering multi-year apprenticeship programs
  • While most West Fraser employees work at sites across British Columbia and Alberta, the head office features an open-concept office environment which showcases large cedar beams and wood details (in keeping with their line of work) -- employees also enjoy easy access to public transit, as well as secure bicycle parking and a busy bike lane conveniently located outside the front door
  • West Fraser encourages employees to adopt an ownership mentality through a share purchase plan, available to all employees, and helps employees save for retirement with contributions to a defined benefit pension plan
West Fraser employees Brad and Amanda in safety gear  

Employer Background

Industry Sawmills
Established in Canada 1955
Publicly traded yes
Major Canadian hiring locations Vancouver BC, Slave Lake AB, Chetwynd BC, Hinton AB, Quesnel BC, Williams Lake BC, Fraser Lake BC, Chasm BC, 100 Mile House BC, Blue Ridge AB, Sundre AB, Edson AB, Rocky Mountain House AB, Smithers BC, High Prairie AB, Whitecourt AB, Edmonton AB, Manning AB
Full-time employees in Canada 5,680
Part-time employees in Canada 337
Full-time employees worldwide 8,885
Average age of employees in Canada 43 years
Longest serving employee 53 years

Physical Workplace Rating: A

Commuter amenities transit subsidies, secure/sheltered bicycle parking
Workplace features head office is an 8-storey building located in Yaletown, offering spectacular mountain and ocean views, bike lane leading to the front door, underground parking, nearby car-sharing station, and an onsite Starbucks, telecommuter workstations, outdoor patio, self-serve lunchroom, outdoor barbecue
Employee lounge amenities large communal table in kitchen area and smaller seating areas overlooking outdoor courtyard with barbecue and lawn area
Onsite fitness facility shared-use facility, free membership, treadmills, stationary bikes, stairmasters, instructor-led classes (cross-training, boot camp, lunch workout program), rowing machines, weights, basketball court, shower facilities, personal trainer services, towel service, health and nutrition resources, outdoor basketball court
Other nearby amenities Roundhouse Community Center, fitness club, David Lam Park, Cooper's Park, Andy Livingstone Park and Sports Field, daycare, restaurants, shopping mall, between Yaletown and Gastown areas, nearby bus and SkyTrain stops

Work Atmosphere & Communications Rating: B+

Employee social committee name social committee rotates between different departments
Recent social events golf tournament, paddle boarding, Grouse Grind hikes, summer barbecues and potluck lunches, holiday treats, regular baby shower and birthday celebrations
Cultural aspects business casual dress, casual dress Fridays, music while working, organized social activities for retirees
Employee communications intranet site, company newsletter, traditional/email suggestion box

Financial Benefits & Compensation Rating: A

Financial benefits note West Fraser has multiple employee groups, financial benefits may vary by position
Outside salary surveys participates in outside salary surveys every 12 months
Employee salary reviews individual salaries are reviewed every 12 months
Long-term savings defined-benefit (DB) pension
Long-term planning retirement planning assistance, life & disability insurance
Share purchase plan available to all employees
Signing bonuses available for some positions
Additional financial benefits discounted forest products (lumber, plywood)

Health & Family-Friendly Benefits Rating: B

Health plan note West Fraser has multiple employee groups, health plans may vary by position
Health plan premium as part of the health plan, the employer pays up to 100% of the premiums
Flexible coverage health plan is flexible with adjustable premiums and coverage levels
Minimum hours worked for coverage 21 hours per week
Waiting period for coverage 30 days
Family coverage option yes
Retiree coverage with no age limit yes
Dental coverage routine, restorative, orthodontics
Traditional coverage (e.g. prescription drugs) yes
Other health plan information employee assistance (EAP) plan, semi-private hospital room, physiotherapy, medical travel insurance, homecare, medical equipment and supplies, massage therapy, nutrition planning, podiatrist, osteopathy, chiropractor, alternative coverage (e.g. accupuncture, naturopathy)
Health spending account up to $2,000 each year
Family-friendly benefits note West Fraser has multiple employee groups, family-friendly policies may vary by position
Maternity top-up (mothers) up to 100% of salary for 8 weeks
Alternative work options flexible work hours, shortened work week (fewer hours with less pay), compressed work week
Additional family-friendly information maternity leave top-up ranges between 6 and 8 weeks, alternative work options vary by position across the company

Vacation & Personal Time-Off Rating: B+

Vacation note West Fraser has multiple employee groups, vacation policies may vary by position
Vacation allowance new employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job
Vacation jump vacation increases after 5 years of employment
Maximum vacation allowance employees move to a maximum of 7 weeks of vacation over their career
Previous experience considers previous work experience when setting annual vacation for new employees
Personal paid days off employees can schedule 1 personal day off each year, as needed
Unpaid leave of absence option yes
Additional time-off information employees can receive a monthly payroll credit in lieu of taking their vacation time, salaried employees (approximately 20% of employees) receive an additional paid week above their regular vacation after 5 years of service, as well as bonus weeks of vacation every fifth anniversary thereafter

Employee Engagement & Performance Rating: B

Employee performance reviews employees receive individual performance reviews every 6 months
Managers receive performance review training yes
Exit interview exit interview option is available for departing employees
Performance recognition individual performance bonuses, long-service awards, annual bonuses for salaried personnel (dependent on both personal and company performance), excellence in safety awards for team performance

Training & Skills Development Rating: B+

Career planning in-house career planning services, online employee skills inventory
In-house training initiatives apprenticeship/skilled trades programs, mentoring, in-house training, online training, paid internships, subsidies for professional accreditation, mentoring to transfer retirees' skills
Related tuition subsidies employer covers up to 100% of tuition per year
Tuition subsidies (unrelated to job) yes
Financial bonuses for course completions yes
Unique training & development programs formal "New and Young Worker" training program (job shadowing program for all new hires and employees under the age of 25), partners with the College of New Caledonia to offer 4-year apprenticeship programs

Community Involvement Rating: B+

Scope of charitable involvement local, national, international
Employee charitable involvement employees are involved in selection of charities
Total number of charities supported last year approximately 500 charitable and community organizations were supported last year
Some of the community organizations supported Royal Canadian Legion, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, BC Council on Substance Abuse, Variety Children's Charity, minor sports associations and sport clubs, food banks and arts festivals
Charitable giving matches employee donations
Community highlight Through its rural locations in Alberta and British Columbia, West Fraser actively participates in many regional and local charitable initiatives, following the "give where we live" approach -- the company designates a portion of its pre-tax profits every year for charitable and community giving, setting annual budgets for every division. The primary focus of the company's charitable giving includes enhancing community life, forests, and health, wellness and education initiatives. At locations across the company, the General Manager and donation committees comprised of employees work closely with supported charities and initiatives.

Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People

Here are some of the reasons why West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2018):

  • West Fraser manages a "New and Young Worker Program" to provide extensive training to employees under the age of 25 -- the program includes orientation, job-shadowing and dedicated training with a supervisor and the mill's safety resource
  • West Fraser partners with the College of New Caledonia to offer apprenticeship programs for millwrights, electricians, heavy duty mechanics and saw filers -- the company pays for tuition and books while apprentices are in school, and provides an additional living allowance, salary continuance, and an interest-free loan to purchase tools -- once back at work, the apprentice is paired with a journeyperson mentor to continue their training
  • West Fraser participates in the University of British Columbia's formal mentorship program for forestry students, with select students receiving a summer position at one of West Fraser's Canadian operations -- for the past 3 years, West Fraser has also independently managed a student mentorship program for those not hired into the summer program, and in 2016, offered 30 promising forestry students an industry contact to act as their personal mentor as they continued their studies
A West Fraser employee helps guide a UBC co-op student at a sawmill  

Highlights

Industry Sawmills
Major Canadian hiring locations Vancouver BC, Slave Lake AB, Chetwynd BC, Hinton AB, Quesnel BC, Williams Lake BC, Fraser Lake BC, Chasm BC, 100 Mile House BC, Blue Ridge AB, Sundre AB, Edson AB, Rocky Mountain House AB, Smithers BC, High Prairie AB, Whitecourt AB, Edmonton AB, Manning AB
Full-time employees in Canada 5,643
Student opportunities summer jobs, co-op opportunities, paid internships
Related tuition subsidies employer covers up to 100% of tuition per year
Annual tuition maximum employer pays up to $750 in tuition subsidies for job-related courses per year
Career development in-house training, online training, in-house career planning services, mentoring, online employee skills inventory, apprenticeship/skilled trades programs
Vacation allowance new employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job
Unique initiatives hires from local post-secondary institutions in British Columbia and Alberta, selects 35 new entrants for its in-house apprenticeship program from the internal hourly labour pool, works with the Interior Logging Association to train 16 new heavy duty equipment operators and 4 log truck drivers in the Williams Lake, BC area as part of a training initiative to encourage new and young workers to join the forest industry (with a special emphasis on engaging First Nations)

The Career Directory

West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. has been selected for The Career Directory, our guide to entry-level recruitment for recent college and university graduates.
Gillian Stauffer, an intern in West Fraser's Green Dream program

Highlights for New Grads

Industry Sawmills
Full-time employees in Canada 5,000 to 10,000
Major Canadian hiring locations Vancouver BC, Slave Lake AB, Chetwynd BC, Hinton AB, Quesnel BC, Williams Lake BC, Fraser Lake BC, Chasm BC, 100 Mile House BC, Blue Ridge AB, Sundre AB, Edson AB, Rocky Mountain House AB, Smithers BC, High Prairie AB, Whitecourt AB, Edmonton AB, Manning AB
Student opportunities paid internships, summer jobs, co-op opportunities
Training subsidies for professional accreditation, online training, in-house training, mentoring, in-house career planning services
Other info for new grads Each year, West Fraser hires approximately 50 forestry students to work as part of the company's Woodlands group. The company also manages a New and Young Worker program to provide extensive training to mill employees under the age of 25.
Typical new grad positions Sales Coordinator, Accounts Payable/Receivable, Assistant Forester, Project Engineer, Human Resources Coordinator, GIS Analyst, Administrative Assistant, Reliability Engineer, Engineering Technician/Technologist, Electrical/Instrumentation Tradesperson
Starting salary $65K to $70K
Work benefits health benefits for new employees, flexible work hours, transit subsidies
Vacation allowance new employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job

Academic fields recruited

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