Welcome to Hinton, Alberta

The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is a progressive company that enriches the Forest Sector with new ways to continually engage Canada’s New and Young workers. The Green Dream Scholarship is a great way to engage students like myself, as well as provide a unique perspective into the realm of Forestry from all points of view. This being said, I am very much looking forward to shedding some light on the sector I get to contribute to this summer, and I hope all of the readers out there broaden their understanding of what it means to be part of the Forest Industry.

I’ll begin with a little background on yours truly. I’m 21 year old Lindsay Albers, a Biochemistry & Molecular Biology undergraduate from the University of Northern British Columbia. I didn’t always plan to become heavily involved in the solid woods or pulp and paper industry, but being groomed by parents in the forestry sector and constantly moving from mill town to mill town has ways of growing on you – see what I did there.

My initial interests were in the health and human sciences, I was going to be a big wig doctor and try to survive in the concrete jungle of Vancouver, yes I laughed at that too. I grew up in Powell River, Kitimat, Quesnel, Prince George, and Slave Lake where I was set in my ways all through high school that a doctor is the way to be and all our environmental issues would be solved by Green Peace or by colonizing Mars. Fast forward to getting my first real industry job in the summer of grade 12, where flying around in helicopters and being chased by grizzly bears became really appealing, really fast – thanks Chetwynd Forest Industries.

As you may have deduced from the above statement, I started my career in the Forest Industry with the leading edge of Woodlands Operations – West Fraser Timber Co. In 2014, one of West Fraser’s divisions had a silviculture surveying position open last minute, I applied, and wound up in Chetwynd for the summer doing hours of outdoor silviculture surveying, planning layout, timber cruising and aerial herbicide applications in the glorious forests of the Rocky Mountains. Up until now my summers have been dedicated to working with West Fraser Timber Co. in various regions around BC and Alberta. In 2015 I was a Production and Environment Intern at Quesnel River Pulp, and again at Slave Lake Pulp in 2016.

This summer I upgraded titles, moving from Summer Student to Co-Op Student, and this time I will be working with West Fraser’s HIP Division at Hinton Pulp and Lignin Facility. My time here in Hinton is spent working between three departments; The Lignin Recovery Plant, Environmental systems, and the Energy and Bioproduct Development Department. In a neat turn of events I essentially have three bosses, three department’s worth of workloads, and an incredibly cool summer job out in the field, in the lab, and back in the office. My Co-Op term is brand new role for West Fraser, and they have so many new and exciting things for me to help develop. In addition, I get to work alongside some incredibly brilliant, like-minded people, solve real world problems, and contribute to making West Fraser a better company on the whole every single day. With a company that cares for, teaches, and continuously challenges its employees, it’s no doubt as to why I keep coming back.

Hinton, Alberta is situated a stone’s throw away from the Rocky Mountains, a 40min drive east of Jasper, and a two hour drive west of Edmonton. If you’re an outdoor fanatic this place is as close to a Pacific Northwest paradise as you can get. Surrounded by a vast expanse of provincial Parks, mountains, lakes, rivers and hiking trails, you’ll never have to drive far to escape into outdoors and get some fresh air. Hinton has a population just over 10,000 with amenities for all ages. For a healthy bite during lunch hour, I’d suggest The Grind Café. For Friday night entertainment, we have Sweet Lou’s Pool Hall, and if you’re looking to get some exercise, Hinton boasts their Duncan Murray Recreation Center – fully equipped with squash courts, a rock-climbing wall, full size pool, hot tubs, steam saunas, hockey rinks, and a library.

With so many activities to do outside of work hours, I’ll have to make an effort to try out each one. For now however my work days are filled with training, tours, phone calls and business meetings, and I look forward to what my first projects are going to entail.

Let the adventure begin,

Lindsay Albers

One Response to Welcome to Hinton, Alberta

  1. Gina Albers says:

    Innovation is the way to a successful future Lindsay so I’m proud that you are working in all things “cutting edge” (see what I did there :-)).

    You are just starting on this amazing journey Lindsay so rock it!

    I look forward to reading about the interesting things you will be learning this summer and what innovative suggestions you will put forward.

    Love, mom.

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