K+S Potash Canada (KSPC) is working hard to earn a reputation as a company that’s respectful and inclusive of First Nations and Métis (FNM) people.
“There are more than 300 First Nations and 44 Métis – all self-declared – on the Legacy Project site right now,’’ says Terry Bird, Lead Advisor, First Nation and Métis Initiatives at KSPC. “And about $250 million in Legacy Project contracts have been awarded to contractors and suppliers who have FNM involvement.’’
KSPC’s Legacy Project sits within Treaty 4 territory and a good number of First Nations people currently working on site are members of 11 Treaty 4 First Nations represented by File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council (FHQTC). Points Athabasca File Hills Qu’Appelle Contracting (PAFHQC), a First Nations business partnership half owned by FHQTC’s development corporation, currently has 70 employees working at the Legacy site, 60 percent of them First Nations. Bird says PAFHQC has a service contract to clean, maintain and keep the Legacy site safe, and KSPC is building on that relationship.
“It’s a good opportunity for us to work with FHQTC’s development corporation to create a source for qualified employees, especially as we move into operations,’’ says Bird, adding that the two parties are looking at ways to match training assistance with job opportunities. “We need to get out front on this so they can prepare people to work in careers we’re offering now and in the future.’’
Bird says KSPC’s relationship with FHQTC does not negatively impact the opportunities other FNM people have to work for the company. KSPC has policies in place to seek and source job candidates from among all FNM people, as well as to seek and source qualified vendors who have FNM ownership or partnerships and joint ventures with FNM participation, whether or not they are from a Treaty 4 First Nation.
All new employees at KSPC participate in an Aboriginal awareness program to help them prepare for a representative workforce environment. To help FNM people get to know the company, KSPC is visiting communities, providing scholarships, and sponsoring a host of cultural and recreational events.
Nick Crighton, Human Resources Advisor, FNM Recruitment at KSPC, has been visiting communities, explaining the great job opportunities, and encouraging people to call him directly.
Maryann Deutscher, Senior Manager, Human Resources at KSPC, says it’s important for FNM people to know KSPC is seeking FNM candidates.
“You often hear someone say ‘I don’t have any connections’ or ‘I hear you have to know someone,’” says Deutscher. “We encourage people to call our recruitment hotline and talk directly with Nick at 1-866-788-5772 – press 3.”
See careers, training and education requirements at ks-potashcanada.com/careers.