Janine Welch doesn’t miss a single issue of Trucking HR Canada’s e-bulletin called “HR Insights”. That’s actually how the human resources manager at Emterra Group learned about the organization’s Career ExpressWay initiative and the different wage subsidy programs available.
The Canada-wide waste and recycling company has now hired over 15 new workers with the support of wage and new driver training subsidies available through the program. “We also use the program for different logistics positions,” Welch says to illustrate that, in addition to drivers and the people loading the refuse trucks, the Career Expressway contributed to the successful hiring of staff for roles in multiple departments such as mechanics and mechanic apprentices, dispatchers, operations specialists and marketing & communications experts to name a few.
Evaluating a candidates’ eligibility for the financial support brought by these Trucking HR Canada programs – up to $10,000 in wage subsidy for a worker aged 30 and under; up to $10,000 to pay the training fees of a new truck driver – has become second nature at the fleet. “As we hire people through our recruitment process, if a potential worker meets the hiring criteria, we submit their name to the program for approval,” Welch says.
With recycling being at the heart of Emterra’s mission, the money saved with Career ExpressWay is reused to find even more new talent. “The financial support is very helpful. It allows us an opportunity to consider and explore different recruitment and attraction strategies. The subsidy offers a fantastic opportunity for young workers to enter the industry and allows Emterra the financial flexibility to hire and train more employees,” says the HR expert who cherishes the concepts of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Besides, the process is seamless. “It was very easy to navigate, and the turnaround time for processing a claim is minimal,” Welch says.
Getting access to young workers represents a considerable value in itself, according to the Emterra Group’s spokesperson. “The shifting demographics make it even more important to attract and retain a young workforce, the wage and the training subsidy programs are very important for companies like Emterra to take advantage of,” she says.
“Young workers bring new ideas and perspectives. They’re always confident to share their ideas and provide feedback. They have a natural attraction and understanding of technology, and a strong desire to make a positive impact in the world. These traits are beneficial in supporting Emterra’s mission of enabling people and businesses to become stewards of the environment.”
At 28 years old, Kyle McGlynn-Bye already has several years of experience in the waste and recycling business. He used to be the one running behind the refuse truck to load it. Now he’s the one behind the wheel, as Career ExpressWay funded the training that led him to get his Class 1 licence.
“My dad has been involved with recycling and garbage collection since he and my mom got together, so I’ve been around trucks my whole life,” says the young man from Peterborough, Ontario. But he’s still learning every day, building on his past experience, which gave him an edge as a driver. “I already knew what the job involved. There’s always more to learn, though, with doing this job because there are always new houses, new roads. There’s always something that can make things change in a moment,” he says.
Driving a refuse truck is certainly a unique kind of trucking that requires special skills. It’s a constant stop-and-go and the driver needs to stay focused at all times in case someone pulls out in front of his vehicle. There’s also the challenge of navigating in narrow streets with cars parked on both sides, a situation that gets even worse in wintertime.
Nonetheless, it’s still trucking, a heavily regulated industry. “I didn’t really realize how many rules and regulations there actually were for bigger commercial vehicles than there are for cars. There’s a lot more that you need to pay attention to,” McGlynn-Bye says, referring to what he learned during his subsidized driver training.
“It’s not always easy, but I work with a great group of guys,” McGlynn-Bye summarizes about his new career as a truck driver.
And thanks to Trucking HR Canada’s Career ExpressWay, that group could very well expand soon, according to Janine Welch. “It’s really an excellent program. It’s got lots of opportunities for those young people to get into the trucking and logistics sector. Emterra has been really pleased to be part of the program and we do look forward to continuing our support and participation,” she concludes.