October 19, 2016:
First year Mechanical Technician students from New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) Saint John recently visited the J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI) Tissue Mill to get a first-hand view of their potential future careers as mechanical technicians.
Colin Tayes, Mechanical Maintenance Supervisor at Irving Tissue believes in the power of hands-on learning.
“The value of the students coming from the classroom into the operations is very high. It’s great for their education, for their future employment needs, as well as for our future employment needs. The students are the knowledge behind the operations and the power is in their hands."
There has been an ongoing, successful partnership between NBCC and JDI. Currently, there are over 1,100 employees from NBCC students now employed with JDI. 24 out of the 75 hourly employees at Irving Tissue, Saint John graduated from a two-year NBCC program: eight from the Mechanical Technician Program, six from the Industrial Controls Program, and ten from the Process Technology/Natural Gas Technician Program.
Jonathon Alberts, Mechanical Technician student at NBCC, had an overall positive experience at the tour.
“The tour was very beneficial and enlightening for myself and my classmates. It has exposed us to the material we’ve been learning in the classroom and allowed us to see how it is applied in real-life practice in the operations,” said Jonathon.
Over the years, expansion projects have been taken on to increase the speed and efficiency of the Saint John mill. As of today, the mill has the capacity to produce 225 to 228 tonnes per day, operating with a team of 105 employees consisting of union, staff, and student employees.
Irving Tissue is an active participant in co-op education programs with several full-time positions in various departments. Randy Arseneau, NBCC Mechanical Technician Instructor, is thrilled with the partnership between NBCC and JDI.
“The relationship between NBCC and JDI provides students with something to look forward to. It’s great to have a relationship with a company that is so forward-looking,” said Arsenault.
careers page to learn more about JDI’s co-op education programs and career opportunities.