West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.
Jeff, chief forester at West Fraser, works in the field  

Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2021) and BC's Top Employers (2021):

Here are some of the reasons why West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2021) and BC's Top Employers (2021):

  • West Fraser designates a portion of its pre-tax profits to charitable and community giving, and follows a "give where we live" approach, with the majority of donation dollars decided upon and distributed by mill managers who live and work in its local communities
  • West Fraser's flexible health benefits plan allows employees to customize coverage to suit their personal needs and transfer unused to credits to salary, savings, or for the purchase of additional time off
  • 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 take part in a tree planting day  

Employer Background

Industry Sawmills
Established in Canada 1955
Publicly traded yes
Major Canadian hiring locations Chambord QC, Barwick ON, Toronto ON, Grande Prairie AB, High Level AB, Vancouver BC, Slave Lake AB, Chetwynd BC, Hinton AB, Quesnel BC, Williams Lake BC, Fraser Lake 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 5,301
Part-time employees in Canada 328
Full-time employees worldwide 8,452
Average age of employees in Canada 43.4 years
Longest serving employee 55 years

Physical Workplace Rating: A

Commuter amenities secure/sheltered bicycle parking, nearby bike sharing station
Workplace features head office is an 8-storey building that features a bike lane at its front door, nearby car-sharing station, an onsite Starbucks, telecommuter workstations, sit-stand workstations, self-serve lunchroom, outdoor patio, outdoor barbecue, discounts at local restaurants
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), elliptical trainers, rowing machines, weights, basketball court, shower facilities, personal trainer services, towel service, health and nutrition resources
Other nearby amenities Roundhouse Community Centre, SoulCycle, YYoga, David Lam Park, Coopers' Park, Andy Livingstone Park, Vancouver Public Library, BC Place, Rogers Arena

Work Atmosphere & Communications Rating: B+

Past social events annual Pete Ketcham Memorial golf tournament, offsite summer activities such as paddle boarding and kayaking, summer barbecues, division-specific celebrations and events
Cultural aspects dress-for-your-day policy, organized social activities for retirees
Employee communications traditional/email suggestion box
Other in-house communications Treeline intranet, Chip Chatter newsletter

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
Year-end bonuses 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
Paid sick days employees receive 12 days off each year
Health plan includes traditional coverage (e.g. prescription drugs), 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. acupuncture, naturopathy)
Health spending account up to $2,000 each year
Wellness initiatives company doctor available for onsite consultations and also leads discussion on health and wellness
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
Flexible work options flexible work hours, compressed work week, telecommuting
Additional family-friendly information maternity leave top-up ranges between 6 and 8 weeks, flexible 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 6 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 may opt to 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 12 months
Managers receive performance review training yes
Exit interview exit interview option is available for departing employees
Performance recognition long-service awards, "best in class" recognition in key areas such as safety, costs, production, recovery and quality

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, leadership training, paid internships, subsidies for professional accreditation, mentoring to transfer retirees' skills
Tuition subsidies (related to job) yes
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), 4-year apprenticeships offered in partnership with the College of New Caledonia

Community Involvement Rating: B+

Scope of charitable involvement local, national, international, 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, Terry Fox Foundation, BC Council on Substance Abuse, Variety the 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, health and wellness, and education initiatives.

Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2021):

Here are some of the reasons why West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2021):

  • West Fraser partners with the College of New Caledonia to offer apprenticeships for millwrights, electricians, heavy duty mechanics and saw filers -- the company pays for tuition and books while apprentices are in school and provides 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 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
Doug, a forestry intern at West Fraser  

Highlights

Industry Sawmills
Major Canadian hiring locations Chambord QC, Barwick ON, Toronto ON, Grande Prairie AB, High Level AB, Vancouver BC, Slave Lake AB, Chetwynd BC, Hinton AB, Quesnel BC, Williams Lake BC, Fraser Lake 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 5,301
Student opportunities summer jobs, co-op opportunities, paid internships
In-house training programs orientation program, in-house training, online training, in-house career planning services, online employee skills inventory, mentoring, leadership training, apprenticeship/skilled trades programs
Tuition subsidies (related to job) yes
Unique training and development opportunities 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)
Additional highlights 12-week summer internships offered in partnership with Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement, offers scholarships including the Pete Ketcham Memorial Scholarship, bursaries for First Nations students, in partnership with British Columbia Institute of Technology and other industry partners, developed an associate certificate program in industrial wood processing and is also working on a similar program for the business of sawmilling
Vacation allowance new employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job

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.
Daniel, environmental health and safety supervisor at West Timber

Highlights for New Grads

Industry Sawmills
Full-time employees in Canada 5,000 to 10,000
Major Canadian hiring locations Chambord QC, Barwick ON, Toronto ON, Grande Prairie AB, High Level AB, Vancouver BC, Slave Lake AB, Chetwynd BC, Hinton AB, Quesnel BC, Williams Lake BC, Fraser Lake 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, orientation program, online training, in-house training, mentoring, in-house career planning services, leadership training
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, telecommuting, transit subsidies
Vacation allowance new employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job

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