FORT ST. JOHN – Apprenticeships at Northern Legendary Construction are among the best in BC.
This February, the company earned the Best Apprentice Training award at the 15th Annual Small Business BC Open For Business Awards in Vancouver.
Founded in 2007, the company has grown to become one of the largest construction companies in Fort St. John, specializing in General Contracting for new builds and renovations in the commercial, industrial, and residential fields.
Over the past decade, Northern Legendary has developed an apprenticeship program that is churning out top-tier Red Seal journeyman.
“Our secret is that we care about our employees,” says Owner and General Manager Eric Bell.
“I figured out a long time ago that the tools don’t do the job, the equipment doesn’t do the job, and I can’t do all the jobs. A construction company is only ever as good as its people, so when we send out people, we want to make sure that they’re properly trained in the trade so the customer is getting what they paid for: actual Red Seal carpenters.”
Northern Legendary’s supervisors are experts in passing on vital information and training to their apprentices, and the company invests in safety training for all aspects of the job.
Bell and his team have taken on a diverse set of projects, ranging from an MRI machine install at the Fort St. John Hospital to a water disinfection plant for the City of Fort St. John.
Before starting work on unique job sites like these, the supervisors provide apprentices with resources to prepare them for the tasks ahead.
“We have our guys do home education as part of their apprenticeship,” says Bell. “Our guys love Youtube, so we have found some great video resources to help them better prepare for unique jobs.
“It shows in the results. Because they’re seeing how the work is done, they come better equipped to learn some of the more specialized tasks.”
The company now has more Red Seal carpenters than apprentices, with many former apprentices choosing long-term careers at Northern Legendary.
“We treat our employees very well,” says Bell. “Nobody’s running around upset or angry at anybody, and we treat our team like family.
“I want them to have a good quality of life after hours, so we make sure that we give a lot of flexibility in their schedule. They know that the needs of their families are important to us, and we show that in various ways.”
The company is quickly expanding and is on the lookout for more employees, offering them a chance at a long-term career in the industry.
Northern Legendary was recently hired by the city of Fort St. John to complete the Centennial Park project.
“We’re quite pleased to be building something that’s a public space,” says Bell. “This one’s very special to us. We’re going to do our very best to make it a masterpiece for the community.”
The project will include a band shelter for special community events, as well as playground equipment, newly-planted trees, and sidewalks for the park.