Victoria Carlyle: The Importance of Experience: FPAC 2022 Green Dream Internship Program

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August 24, 2022

My placement with Resolute has been one filled with learning.  I have learned about the process chemistry involved in making pulp, how to analyze project merit based on profitability and how to verify drawings, assess performance, and identify hazards in the field.  These are all technical skills that, while important, will not make someone a great engineer or a competent member of a team.  More important than what the process and equipment at the Mill have taught me, is what I have been able to learn from my colleagues and their years of experience working in an industry I’ve barely scratched the surface of.   The purpose of this article is to showcase and share some of that wisdom in an attempt to shine some light on what it is really like to have a career in the Forest Products industry beyond the couple months I’ve spent here as a student.

Responses to these questions were collected from a variety of Resolute – Thunder Bay, ON employees via a survey and then summarised to highlight the variety of careers and perspectives available here at the Mill.

How many years have you been working at Resolute?

Please briefly describe your Educational Background:

What do you like most about your job?

“I like learning and troubleshooting to find solutions to different types of problems” – Eric Czackowski, Superintendent - Recovery

“Going out into the field and getting to see the entire mill in operation.” – Allison McLellan, Process Technician

“Improving the reliability of the equipment in the facility. Looking at ways to apply new tools and techniques.” – Derek Weise, Site Maintenance Manager

“The most interesting thing about my job is the challenges it brings daily. No two days are the same and each challenge comes with its own satisfaction upon completion. The mill is huge, there is a lot to learn, and you don’t run out of sharp minds to learn from or collaborate with.” – Osahan Eghomwanre, Electrical Maintenance Specialist

“The impact I hope I have in making the place safer” – Robbin Lavoie, Health and Safety & Training Superintendent

What is the most challenging part of your job?

“Managing people - everyone is different and has a life outside of the Mill” – Kyle Lindsay, Utilities Manager

“Combating the unexpected failures of equipment” – Nikki Stein, Superintendent - Paper Machine 5

“Winter operation (extreme cold/snow) and impacts on process/logistics along with time spent outdoors.” – Alex Hiiback, Superintendent - Environment

“In IT we are continually dealing with change.  Regularly updating required knowledge and the pace at which things become obsolete are the biggest challenges.” – David Buzzi, IT Regional Manager (Ontario)

“Getting up to speed in a complicated industry with such a long history.” – Tyler Meloche, Energy Efficiency Technologist

What is your favourite location or piece of equipment at the Mill?

Type image caption here (optional

What is one thing you’d like the general public to know about the Forest Products industry?

“That we care about everyone's safety and we care about the environment” – Daniel Ilijow, Manager of Health and Safety

“Fibre products are renewable and we live in one of the biggest fibre baskets in the world.” – Matt Caccamo, Reliability and Planning Manager

“We aren’t a wasteful industry - there is a lot of work being done to make Forest Products sustainable.  The number of women making significant contributions to the industry should also be noted” – Karen Uvanile - Administrative Assistant

“The industry is constantly evolving and branching out to create more products in addition to the traditional pulp, paper and lumber. Examples include renewable power, turpentine and lignin.” – Dave Halushak, Superintendent - Human Resources

“It is a thriving industry that heavily contributes to many local economies. The forest products sector is also typically a leader on environmental/sustainability initiatives because those issues pertain to the longevity of the industry as a whole” – Alex Hiiback, Superintendent - Environment

What impact does sustainability have on your day-to-day roles and responsibilities?

“Sustainability is always a key part of every project. Developing something that is sustainable means that its long term profitability will be higher and the environmental impact will be minimised, ensuring its longevity.” – Kyle Watkins, Utilities Process Engineer-in-Training

“My job is to prevent failures. The fewer failures that we have, the less process upsets there are. This would allow the mill to run at a steady state using less gas, less water and less sludge to the landfill.” – Markku Rajaniemi, Kraft Mechanical Reliability

“Throughout my career, I have been innately involved with environmental management, waste management, effluent treatment, emissions, fuel handling, etc. All these aspects affect the Mill's impact on the surrounding area and also its economic success.” – Alec Hiiback, Superintendent - Environment

“Environmental sustainability is at the heart of my responsibilities, as most of my work is determining the energy savings (and thus, reduced fuel consumption and emissions) for projects.” – Tyler Meloche, Energy Efficiency Technologist

“Sustainability is an important aspect to all manufacturing facilities. It is imperative to reduce our impact on the environment. Water usage, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions are all necessary aspects to consider when completing projects.” – Craig Douthwright, Kraft Process Engineer-in-Training

If you had one piece of advice for yourself as a student or young professional, what would it be?

“You can go as far as your ambition will take you.  Find a way, not an excuse.  Mistakes will happen, you’ll need to learn from them going forward. Sometimes the path you are on is not linear.” – Andrew Phillips, Superintendent - Fire Systems and Plant Services

“Developing healthy working relationships is as important as working hard.” – Matt Caccamo, Reliability and Planning Manager

“Success lies in being able to work together. By being an excellent communicator and facilitator for other's work, it reflects brightly on your own ability as well as creates mutual respect/dedication that will help your own initiatives.” – Alec Hiiback, Superintendent – Environment

“Don't overwork yourself and take time to spend with your friends and family.” – Jesse Arella - Finishing and Shipping Coordinator

“Do what you love. Aim high. When you get knocked down, get back up. Don't burn bridges. Take risks. Ask questions. Things happen for a reason, you may not understand it at the time but down the road you will. Stay positive.” – John Cole, Superintendent - Finishing and Shipping

“Immerse yourself in the process and make an effort to be involved in the many opportunities that exist within our industry. I have worked as a Labourer, Chemical Technician, Supervisor, in Product Development, in Process Optimization, Department Superintendent, Opex Manager, Production Manager, SAP Project Leader, and Operations Manager all within the Thunder Bay Operation.” – John Nelson, Operations Manager

“Follow your dreams... pursue them with hard work, dedication and commitment.” – Dallas Davis, Operations Maintenance Coordinator

Thank you to all of the Resolute employees who took the time to contribute to this article.  Your perspectives are invaluable and I am grateful for all I’ve been able to learn from you in my limited time here at the Mill.  I’ll end with one last piece of advice from a colleague that really resonates with me and is echoed throughout the theme of this article:

“A company is nothing but the collective effort of those who comprise it; everyone is crucial to the operation and will have something to teach you if you’re humble and open-minded.” – Tyler Meloche, Energy Efficiency Technologist

For more information contact:
Kerry Patterson-Baker
Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs
kpatterson-baker@fpac.ca
(613) 563-1441 x 314
Follow FPAC on Twitter: @FPAC_APFC
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