The Faces of Forestry: Rodjie
Posted by AFPA | June 11, 2021
When Rodjie Madrid was a university student in the Philippines, he learned that a forest products mill in Canada was accepting applications for labourer positions. Rodjie saw this as an opportunity to make a better life for himself and his family. So, on his father’s advice, Rodjie first completed his Bachelor’s degree, and then in 2008, he accepted a job with Spruceland Millworks in Acheson, Alberta. Over the years, Rodjie made sure his employer knew that he liked to be challenged, so Spruceland trained him in many areas, including forklift operation, lumber grading, and safety. As he learned, he advanced through multiple positions. “They saw some leadership in me, so they asked me if I wanted to take a job as a crew leader,” Rodjie says. “When I learned most of the stuff that a crew leader does, an opportunity came up that they needed me to fill in as a supervisor.”
While Rodjie’s career was progressing, he missed the family he had left back home in the Philippines. To bring them to Canada, he would need to become a permanent resident. Spruceland helped him with the many documents he had to fill in. They also provided him with an English language and Canadian history tutor between shifts to help prepare him for the permanent residency exam. In 2014, Rodjie became a permanent resident, and 10 months later, his family joined him in Canada.“I’m happy every day because I am able to live with them. Every day is like living a dream now,” Rodjie says.
Today, Rodjie holds the title of Production Lead Hand, contributing his operations knowledge and leadership skills to the business. He has also recently become a Canadian citizen.
“If I can inspire someone, I want to,” Rodjie reflects. “When I came here, I had nothing. I can now support my family, and I learn new stuff every day.”
The Alberta Forest Products Association would like to extend a thank you to Rodjie Madrid from Millar Western’s Spruceland Division for sharing his story.