Northwest women work to bring BC wood products to the world – Terrace Standard
Every container full of lumber and every bulk load of wood pellets exported through the Port of Prince Rupert represents the hard work and commitment of BC’s natural resource and access services industries. These sectors represent two-thirds of the province’s economic base, according to the Business Council of British Columbia. Their workforces rely on each other to support their local communities and families by working together to bring BC’s in-demand exports to destinations around the world.
It’s estimated that one in 25 people in British Columbia work in the forestry sector, and it’s a workforce that Jessica Hochins is proud to be a part of. As Supervisor of Logging Operations at Skeena Sawmills, Hochins’ many responsibilities include coordinating logging and road construction operations at her company’s tenures in the area.
“I love being outdoors and working directly with contractors to get them to adopt sustainable practices and best management practices to protect soil, wildlife and other parts of the environment,” Hochins said. .
Hochins is adamant that “sustainable forestry is the way of the future”, and having Canada’s third largest port just 135 kilometers from the operations in Terrace means that most of the products they exported do not travel far to be placed in containers and loaded onto ships. Overall, western Canadian lumber and wood products account for 20% of the port’s containerized exports. Hochins hopes to see that number continue to grow, noting that “it will make our business stronger.”
Like Hochins, Adelynne Davis also plays a role in preparing northwestern BC wood products for export. In the two years since her start at Skeena BioEnergy, she has seen demand for wood pellets take off. “It’s amazing to watch,” Davis said. “I came here shortly after we opened, so I’ve seen it grow and change.”
Davis has lived in the Terrace area for nearly a decade and a half, and prior to accepting this position, she worked in big-box retail. “I’ve never worked in a job like this before,” Davis said. “Doing public works in large pellet mills and cleaning them, operating a scissor lift and a forklift. It’s great to learn and contribute to this industry.
Working at Skeena BioEnergy is a family affair for Davis. The mother-of-four, from New Aiyansh, calls several close colleagues with her husband, niece and eldest son also employed at the facility. The family members are among more than 5,300 Indigenous people working in BC’s forestry sector, according to the BC Council of Forest Industries.
Learn more about how jobs in the natural resource sector, like those of Jessica and Adelynne, are connected to the 3,700 people in northern British Columbia, who work directly to support trade through the Gateway. entrance to Prince Rupert, go to www.rupertport.com/economic-impact/
Prince Rupert Harbor