Tony's Career Story

After I graduated from high school, my first job was in the wood energy industry as an operator. There I had a chance to see what the electricians were doing on site and I became very interested in pursuing the trade.

I started as an apprentice electrician in the “oil patch” for an oil and gas company in Northern Alberta and worked there for two and half years. The job was a lot of grunt work and long hours. I was worried about being stuck in a narrow position where I would not have an opportunity to learn the full spectrum of my trade. I decided to work in residential, and then commercial construction to round out my skills. In the last year of my apprenticeship, an opportunity came up at West Fraser’s Slave Lake Veneer mill and I jumped at the job. I am really glad I did.

At first, I was overwhelmed – but I feel like I have learned more at West Fraser in a few months than I learned in years at other jobs. At the beginning I planned on moving on from here after I stopped learning, but three years into this job I feel I have only learned a portion of what I am capable of. At Slave Lake Veneer I get to work with state-of-the-art technology. I am grateful for the support, patience and mentorship from my colleagues to continue to learn new skills. There are plenty of hands-on opportunities to improve my skills because we are always pushing the technology forward and experimenting to improve the operation of the mill.

Working in a veneer mill has been amazing for me. The people I work with are excellent and the broadness of what we deal with compared to other places I have worked is extraordinary. What I would like to tell other tradespeople considering working for West Fraser is that the opportunity to grow at this Company really never ends – and that is hard to find anywhere."

- Tony Electrical Charge Hand

All Testimonials