Helga started as a labourer in the pulp department and over the years worked herself up to her current position of Operations Maintenance Coordinator (OMC). During that time, Helga saw her job change from labourer, to relief pulp foreman, then first female foreman at the mill. In her current position as (OMC), Helga is responsible for a variety of tasks related to maintaining and improving company facilities and equipment and overseeing the work of other employees and identifying and contracting with vendors to provide maintenance services where required. She’s also been instrumental in the implementation of a new Maintenance System at the mill.
What does Helga think is the most enticing attribute of life in and around AVTB? That there are so many windows of opportunity. “Even without a trade, the training opportunities at the mill allow for junior trade development. Employment at AVTB allows people to move quickly from operators or entry level positions to higher level opportunities. Because of the smaller “community” at the mill, hard work and dedication are recognized and it’s possible to move up faster than in larger organizations.” says MacKenzie.
One might expect that after 38 years, a job could become mundane but Helga says that couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyday, her job offers challenges and her favourite, troubleshooting opportunities. With all the knowledge she has gained over the years, it’s enabled her to troubleshoot in the most detailed, intense way. “To get to the the root of a problem and evaluate the solutions, debate whether or not to implement, and then provide advice on improvements is both fulfilling and stimulating. Decision making with such a talented group of engineers and trades people makes it that much more enticing.”
Helga says she has also learned from employees educated in India. She has been inspired by their dedication to their learning and how skilled they are and their expansive knowledge base. She has learned a great deal about the importance of meticulousness and attention to detail.
Helga was also a recent recipient of an employee recognition award and explains the project that won her the award. Helga recognized that there had to be a method to fill the digester faster to increase production and working with Amit and other team members, increased the frequency of the chip screws and in turn increased the volume of chips on the chip belt, resulting in 20 more tonnes of production a day.