August 16, 2018

Millwrights reflect on why they chose Tolko’s High Level Apprenticeship Program

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Every year, Tolko’s High Level Division invites qualified candidates to apply for the High Level Apprenticeship Program. Three of Tolko’s current millwright apprentices look back at the time they decided to enter the program that helped round out their careers.

“Some of the training I’ve had is the best anyone could have, and more than you could get anywhere else,” says Terry Clark (middle), who has been a journeyman millwright for two years. “With the new technology that’s coming in, the amount of knowledge we gain here is second to none.”

Terry has worked on several projects throughout his apprenticeship, including assembling a Progressive Geometric Log Rotation (PGLR) system and installing an Extended Length Infeed (ELI) that involved a new computer system, scan zone, software and hydraulics. Both systems help Tolko get accurate cuts and efficient use on the wood it collects for manufacturing.

“To be able to jump into a trade like that, I didn’t think twice,” says Glenn Boissonneault (right) who now works at Tolko’s Lavington mill. “You’d be hard-pressed to jump into a trade like that in other communities.”

“There wasn’t much in the trades or advancement at the mills here at that time,” recalls Kyle Robinson (left). “If I wanted an apprenticeship at one of the Okanagan mills, it would have taken a lot longer to get in.”

Kyle completed his apprenticeship and received his journeyman ticket in 2015. He is now the lead hand at Tolko’s mill in High Level.

“If you show an interest and are willing to progress, Tolko sees that and will help you out.”