The Council of Forest Industries Blog

Mark LaFleur

By Mark LaFleur

Harvesting Tour in Fort St. John

North Peace Secondary, Fort St. John

North Peace Secondary, Fort St. John

Canadian forest product companies will need to hire 60,000, or more, new workers by 2020 to meet demand.  One way to attract new workers is to allow interested students the opportunity to see forestry operations and the skilled positions up close.  That is exactly what happened last week as COFI’s Forest Education Program in partnership with Canfor Fort St. John took over 20 high school students to an active cut block. 

 

Students from grades 10 to 12 from North Peace Secondary (Fort St. John) visited an active cut block approximately 1 hour west of town in minus 28 degree weather.  Being ‘tough and resilient’ from living in the north, the students were very excited to join Canfor’s Wes Neumeier and Dean Dickinson on a tour of the activities and operations on the active cut block.  The students learned about the many decisions that go into planning harvesting operations in an area such as timber supply, road access, environmental considerations, and plans for the area after harvesting occurs.  The students were able to examine all the harvesting equipment that was operating on the site including skidders, feller bunchers, loaders, and many logging trucks.  Most importantly the students were able speak to the operators themselves about skills & training required, working conditions, day-to-day duties, wages & benefits, and what they enjoy most about their career.

 

At the end of the day the students went home with a greater appreciation of the opportunities that exist in the Forest Industry, a possible goal of becoming a Harvesting Operator themselves, and a smile on their faces from all the ‘cool’ equipment and technology that they saw in action!

Mark LaFleur

By Mark LaFleur

Trades and Business Awareness Program at West Fraser Quesnel

problem solving with a Millwright

problem solving with a Millwright

How do you attract the ‘best and brightest’ students to a possible career in the Trades and Business areas within the BC Forest Industry? How about a day long program for high school students at one of the largest sawmills in the world where they can see a multi-million business department in action, job shadow various skilled tradespeople ,and actually get ‘down and dirty’ in performing some of the technical skills required of these tradespeople! That is exactly what happened on Thursday, January 15th, as over 25 high school students from Corrilieu Secondary (Quesnel) visited the West Fraser Head Office and Sawmill operations in Quesnel to familiarize themselves with a variety of career opportunities in the Business and Trades areas of the forest industry.

 

After an overview of company operations and a safety orientation, the grade 11 and 12 students spent the morning visiting the Forest Planning, Corporate Sales, Accounting, and IT Departments at the Head Office at West Fraser Quesnel. Many of the students commented that they were ‘unaware’ or ‘lacking’ an appreciation of the variety of careers that exist in the forest industry. They marveled at how all the different departments work together towards a common goal/product. Following a pizza lunch, where everybody refuelled for a busy afternoon, the students were off to the sawmill itself where a number of trades were on full display. Students spent time with each tradesperson on the tour and were able to gather information on a variety of trades and thus help them in deciding which trade they really wanted to pursue. Beginning with Quality Control, students learned about the technology and efficiency that the mill must perform at. The students next visited the Mill Wrights, where the versatility and expertise of these trades’ people were on full display. Students were able to ‘get down and dirty’ in troubleshooting and fixing an engine. Subsequent stops in the program involved a visit to the Heavy Duty Mechanics, Electrical, and Sawfiling departments of the mill. At the Sawfiling tour stop each student was able to put on a welding mask & safety gear and weld two pieces of steel together.

 

By the end of the day at West Fraser’s Head Office and Sawmill in Quesnel the students were able to see and learn what each career and trade is really like and had an opportunity to interview each person involved. Students learned about the many day-to-day functions, working conditions, wages, skills required, and received personal career anecdotes and recommendations from each of the business /tradespeople. What a great opportunity for students to learn about the over 60,000 careers that will need to be filled by 2020 and help make career preparation decisions that will last a lifetime.

 

Anne Mauch

By Anne Mauch

COFI Convention 2014

2014_cofi_convention_logo_02

Thanks for attending!

PDF files for most presentations are available for viewing or download here.

Mark your calendars for COFI Convention 2015 – April 8-10 in Prince George.

Western Canada’s premier forest products convention promises to offer something for everyone. It traditionally attracts over 400 delegates representing senior industry, government and customer representatives as well as elected officials from local, provincial and federal governments.