The Jobs Where You Grow interview series showcases the career path and dedication to the forest products sector of people who have reached management positions while working in production at Resolute Forest Products. Their professional journey provides insight into the career growth opportunities available in the forest products industry.
Can you tell us about your responsibilities as a supervisor?
I make sure employees work safely and productively. I also manage the production employees on my work team at the Saint-Thomas sawmill and produce reports for my supervisor so that he’s aware of what’s going on with my team. Obviously, other related responsibilities come up, but these are the priorities.
Can you tell us about your career path at Resolute and how you went from production to your current position?
Before I joined Resolute, I was in the army. When I left the army, I applied to Resolute as I thought it was a great company. I was hired at the La Doré sawmill in February 2018 as a laborer on the tilt hoist at the planer. I then held various other positions, such as feeder and stacker; I basically held almost all the positions at the planer mill, except grader and MSR operator. Because I had training in electrical and avionics systems, the company had me get an ACS (Attestation of Collegial Studies) to become an electrical technician and continue acquiring knowledge in that field. My training was interrupted by the pandemic, and I was offered the position of planing supervisor at the Saint-Thomas sawmill, which I accepted. I subsequently completed my training and was offered a supervisor position in sawmill operations. So, that’s what I’m doing now. I don’t really know where I’m going next, but I do know my journey at Resolute isn’t over. My progress has been fast and I’ve always taken the time to thank the people who’ve helped me. You know, to climb a staircase it takes both the will to go up by yourself as well as someone to give you a helping hand along the way. I still don’t know how far I’ll go, but time and opportunities will tell.
Why did you choose to live in Lac-Saint-Jean?
I’m from here but I lived for a while in Montréal, Québec City and Ontario. When you get to a certain age, it’s important to return home. There’s no traffic here; there’s nature and it’s very peaceful. My job involves a lot of talking, but when I get home, I enjoy being quiet. The Lac-Saint-Jean region would be one of the most beautiful places in the world if it weren’t for winter, but we have a very good life here!
What is your connection to the forest?
I’m Amerindian, from Mashteuiatsh, so the forest is in my blood. I’ve always been close to the forest. I ride my motorcycle there. I feel good in nature and I spend as much time there as I can.
What would be the best advice for someone who wants to pursue a career in the forest products industry?
It takes passion above all. These jobs are good but they’re not easy; you have to love the forest and be willing to work hard. In short, the best advice is to follow your passions.
By Charles Martel, an intern working at Resolute’s Saint-Thomas sawmill under the Forest Products Association of Canada’s Green Dream Internship Program