FPAC Green Dream Scholarship students reflect on their summer with Tolko


FPAC Green Dream Scholarship students reflect on their summer with Tolko

At Tolko, we support youth through scholarships and student opportunities. This year, we were thrilled to learn that three of our summer students were selected as FPAC’s 2020 Green Dream scholarship winners:

  • Jordan R., Woodlands Student, Prairie Woodlands, Prince Albert (SK),
  • Ty E., Engineering Student, Meadow Lake OSB (SK), and
  • Jace T., Business Student, Meadow Lake OSB (SK)

Kerry McIntyre, Harvesting Superintendent, Prairie Woodlands recently presented Jordan with his $1,000 cheque, and Glen Rodrigue, Plant Manager, Maintenance, Meadow Lake OSB presented Ty and Jace with their $1,000 scholarships – all while practicing safe social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Well done all of you for taking the situation seriously and for staying safe!

This scholarship matches the amount that was awarded by the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and will be put towards the students’ post-secondary studies. Throughout the summer, they have been blogging about their work experiences in forestry and with Tolko in particular. This fall, Jordan will be starting his degree in Environmental Biology at the University of Regina; Ty will be studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta; and Jace will be starting his Business degree at Mount Royal University in Calgary. We recently asked them to share their thoughts with us about their experiences as forestry summer students at Tolko.

CC: Describe your role at Tolko this summer: What does a typical day look like for you?

Jordan: I was part of the Meadow Lake Woodlands unit working out of Prince Albert and spent most days in the field. These days were spent in the forest, usually ribboning high interest buffers, mapping stakeholder trails, surveying wood for potential harvest and investigating future cut blocks to determine harvestability. 

Ty: I’m an engineering summer student at the Meadow Lake OSB mill. Because of how busy it gets around here, I ended up being taken in by the electrical team instead of the mechanical team. On a typical day I’m sitting at my desk in an office and mainly work on the coding aspects of the mill, with a little display design tied into it. When I’m not at my desk, I’m usually testing one of the programs I’ve made or edited. Most of the time not successfully, but it comes with experience. 

Jace: I was placed with the Lean Manufacturing, Continuous Improvement team. Lean Manufacturing is a structured manufacturing method that focuses on reducing waste without losing value to the customer. I work on different Lean projects throughout the mill. Our job is to make the mill run smoother, faster, and safer by making processes more efficient. I would say it is the acquisition of efficiencies throughout the mill. I also conduct monthly audits in areas we’ve done Lean projects on to help sustain the new and improved processes. My fantastic supervisor was always was one step ahead and made the summer super fun and exciting! Lean is such an essential part of any business, and I couldn’t be happier that I was able to learn more about it.  It’s nice to see that Tolko is proactive in keeping the mill improving and staying competitive in the forestry industry. All of this work is helping me grow and hopefully get a full-time professional position one day.

CC: What have you enjoyed most about working at Tolko?

Jordan: I really enjoyed travelling around and spending time in the Boreal forest. I think one of the biggest perks of my job is being able to work outside most days and visit new places. I felt very comfortable working for Tolko as everyone is extremely welcoming and friendly. It is a fast paced environment, but Tolko takes the safety of its employees very seriously. I was happy to work for Tolko this summer and would highly recommend it to anyone!

Ty: The best part about working at Tolko is the people. Being able to laugh with the people around you makes or breaks a job. There’s a man named Chong who works here, and he once told me that he works here to laugh with everyone. He said that if you aren’t excited to get up to go to work every day than you chose the wrong career. That really stuck with me, and I enjoyed it here because of people like him!

Jace: I enjoyed the people the most at Tolko. Coming to work wasn’t a chore when you get to be around such real, high-quality people. I appreciate Tolko’s great atmosphere, it’s fun to be a part of the team!

Congratulations to Jordan, Ty, and Jace for their achievements, sharing their experiences with us. We wish them all the best in their future endeavours! To read their Green Dream blog stories, visit FPAC’s site at: thegreenestworkforce.ca.

Kerry McIntyre, Prairie Woodlands, Tolko (left) presents Jordan (right) with his scholarship cheque.
Glen Rodrigue, Plant Manager, Meadow Lake OSB (right) presents Ty (left) with his scholarship cheque.
Glen Rodrigue, Plant Manager, Meadow Lake OSB (right) presents Jace (left) with his scholarship cheque.