“It’s exciting to be part of something greater than myself.”
Listening to Serge St-Martin share his passion for the forest, you’d think he has green blood. At 21, he accepted a job with LP Building Products. 18 years later, he is still proudly employed as a lab supervisor. He loves his job, which provides ample quality of life for him and his family along with a sense of contributing to the welfare of his community. Serge works in Canada’s forest products industry — the GreenestWorkforce.
This is his story.
Working in the forest industry is a natural choice for me. I grew up in the woods! I was born in Abitibi and come from a long line of forestry workers. My father ran the sawmill in our village. I started working there when I was a student with my brothers. Ah… the scent of freshly cut wood! I know it well, and I love it.
When LP opened the mill in Maniwaki in 1997, my uncle was appointed director. Before the plant was even fully built, he recruited me along with two of my brothers (including my twin brother), a couple of cousins and an uncle to help him start things up. There was barely any infrastructure: a cement slab and a lot of vision. When you work at a place from the beginning, your sense of belonging is very strong. It’s even stronger when it’s a family affair.
The mill is like my extended family. Teamwork and friendship are part of the experience. My employees are my buddies. We share responsibilities and hobbies, such as our annual fishing tournament in Parc de La Verendrye. But what makes a true difference is our mutual trust.
As a father of two young children, I appreciate my flexible schedule and the support of my colleagues. If I have to accompany my daughter on a school trip, or my boy to his archery course, I can count on my team to take over for a couple of hours. It alleviates the pressure and avoids considerable stress on my family and me!
Our forests are precious, and we must take care of them. I feel my work makes a difference in the community. I work for an industry that is always looking for better ways to build a product while considering the well-being of its customers, its employees, and the planet.