Five Year Anniversary for Aboriginal Education and Employment Strategy Team

Published on September 1, 2011

The AEES Team: Jeannie Cranmer, Melanie Woods and Valerie Monkman with George Hemeon, Senior Aboriginal Procurement Advisor, Aboriginal Procurement.

BC Hydro’s Aboriginal Education and Employment Strategy (AEES) celebrated its five-year milestone on Aug. 26, recognizing a host of success stories for the team and marking the midpoint of their 10-year strategy.  

“Since the strategy was approved, we’ve received over 4,000 self-identified Aboriginal applicants and currently have approximately 106 employed. I believe our success is due to our team’s extensive outreach work, which ensures Aboriginal applicants are aware of career opportunities and of individual requirements. We support the applicants as they complete all the requirements needed to be successfully selected for a job,” said Jeannie Cranmer, AEES Manager. 

The AEES department provides specialized expertise to support BC Hydro’s business groups and works in conjunction with Aboriginal communities to recruit and source Aboriginal applicants. AEES's goal is to increase and to fully represent the number of Aboriginal people working in the BC Hydro labour market by 2017.

The AEES is one pillar supporting the First Nation Strategy in education, training and employment.

In the years ahead, AEES looks to strategically align with the newly repatriated recruitment team and business groups in order to build a more targeted and focused recruitment and retention road map that will help achieve BC Hydro’s collective fiscal 2017 goal for labor market representation.

Another key focus is to advance the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business's (CCAB) Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) “Going for Gold” Implementation Plan (of which BC Hydro is currently ranked in the silver designation), by strengthening reporting systems, understanding retention and advancement issues interviews, and building targeted, regional recruitment strategies.

Key accomplishments:

Supported over 100 new Aboriginal hires into BC Hydro in a variety of career opportunities: Youth Hires, Trades Trainees, Apprentice Power Line Technicians, Cable Splicer, Mechanic and Key Account Management; 

Supported 10 Utility Boot Camps to date, helping to provide a qualified pool of Aboriginal individuals to compete for utility sector opportunities;

Supports two Aboriginal employees through the Thermal Plant Operator Technician (TPOT) Trainee program, established to recruit Aboriginal hires into hard-to-fill locations and occupations. Both employees now possess Power Engineering (PE) Certification – one with a 4thClass PE and one with a 3rdClass PE – and both are on track with their respective training plans while continuing to develop on their long-term career paths with BC Hydro;

Helped establish the Aboriginal Trades Trainee Bursaries to support potential Aboriginal Trades Trainee applicants to complete the educational requirements needed in order to compete for PLT vacancies. Since the program was initiated, 19 Trades Trainee bursaries have been distributed and six of those recipients were successfully hired into a Trades Trainee role;  

Deployed Youth Hires programs across the province in both Generation and T&D Field Operations. This program provided job shadowing opportunities with general trades, design, electrician and PLT crews for seven weeks last summer. Youth also attended a week long safety orientation at the Electrical Training Industry Institute followed by work experience and the upgrading of their high school courses to meet apprenticeship requirements;

Deployed Aboriginal Properties Internship program, which awarded a scholarship with employment opportunity upon completion of study with high marks. This employee has now advanced into a full-time position as a Property Representative within BC Hydro; and,

Supported students through the Work Placement program, from the Native Education College, Thompson Rivers University, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and Capilano University to help them gain valuable work experience in short-term work placements at BC Hydro.

For more information about the Aboriginal Education and Employment Strategy, please contact: Jeannie Cranmer at 604-623-4401.