In 2008, Guillermo Leoncio worked for Coca-Cola in the Philippines when he learned Spruceland Millworks was recruiting people to move to Canada to work at their specialty wood products mill. Guillermo jumped at the opportunity.
“It gave me new life,” he says about his excitement at the prospect of moving to Canada.
Spruceland provided Guillermo with a plane ticket to Alberta and a place to stay while settling in his new career and home. Once the basics were in order, Guillermo thrived in his new role, starting as a labourer, then advancing to crew leader position in just three years and production supervisor in 2019.
“This company has taught me a lot of things, and they helped me grow,” Guillermo reflects. “They want their people to grow as the company grows.”
The Spruceland team also assisted him with attaining his permanent residency and, ultimately, his Canadian citizenship. “The opportunity to find out what Canada has to offer is one of the best things that could have happened to change my life,” says Guillermo. “I have never felt foreign in this new country. Spruceland has always been there for my family and me.”
“That is the best part; they do not leave their people behind,” says Guillermo. In addition to recruiting staff internationally, Spruceland has a long history of giving back. This includes encouraging employees to travel, both for leisure and to build homes, orphanages, and schools in underserved communities. “My family and I got to take trips to Mexico and the Dominican Republic, with part of the expenses covered.”
Guillermo has developed strong technical, and leadership skills throughout his career—both in the Philippines and now in Canada—and other employers have taken notice. But when outside opportunities come his way, his loyalty remains with Millar Western’s Spruceland Division. “I still choose to stay with this company because I know that they are not only a corporation but also a family who knows how to take care of its people.”
The Alberta Forest Products Association would like to extend a thank you to Guillermo Leoncio from Millar Western’s Spruceland Division for sharing his story.
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