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Employer Connections - Central Region


									April 18, 2007

   Sun-drenched job                All ages                            Will train                          Plenty of positions
   About the only job indoors at   Blue Grass is looking for           An interest in plants is the only   Blue Grass is a diverse company
   Blue Grass is the accountant.   employees of all ages, whether it’s thing an employee needs to have.    and has jobs on the farm, driving
   Everyone else works outside,    students or retirees wanting a      Blue Grass teaches the rest.        trucks and at the cash register.
   mostly during the summer.       healthy summer job.

  Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd.
  The busy season for Blue Grass Sod Farms
  is about to bloom as homeowners and
  commercial operations put down green
  lawns and plants for summer. In spring, the
  company’s year-round complement of
  about 10 staff grows to over 80. This year,
  Blue Grass was still looking for dozens of
  new employees in mid-April.                                             NO W H IRING : B LUE
  Blue Grass started off as a sod farm but the business has             G RA S S S O D F A RMS LTD .
  diversified widely into landscaping, trees and an expanding
  garden centre. The enterprise needs a variety of people to
  handle machinery, sales and trucking.                                 To apply visit
  But the one overarching need is for people who enjoy the              and go to ‘Jobs.’ Applicants can also email
  outdoors. Even working as a cashier means plenty of time
  outside dealing with customers and handling product.        
  Blue Grass offers students and older workers a healthy
  temporary job for the summer, and there some permanent
  positions. Many of the positions need people who can handle
  manual labour but a few jobs are relatively light.

Employer Connections - Alberta Employment, Immigration & Industry - Central Region
April 18, 2007

                                                 plenty of physical activity such as          looking for a well-rounded mechanic
                                                 mowing, aerating, power raking and           who can fix a truck, and repair farm
                                                 hand raking. Since employees are going       machinery.
                                                 directly to homes, good customer             • Sod harvesting labourer
  Moving up in the business                      service skills are a must. The job also
                                                                                              One of the few jobs at Blue Grass that
                                                 requires staff to be aware of safety
  Blue Grass is a mid-sized company                                                           doesn't involve a lot of dealings with
                                                 issues at all times.
  looking to expand, and many of the                                                          customers is at the farm, where staff
  best ideas can come from employees,            • Garden centre personnel                    harvest the sod for delivery. This is a
  who turn them into reality under the           Staff working at the garden centre are       physically demanding job that requires
  Blue Grass name. “I’m always on the            constantly dealing with customers,           an ability to work with machinery. It’s
  lookout for new business ideas,                making interpersonal skills a top            farm work, and there’s little time spent
  particularly for the winter,” says general     priority. A good phone manner is also a      indoors.
  manager Larry McCordick. “You just             plus. The job isn't as physically
  never know when the next downturn is           demanding as a landscaper, but it is
  coming and we need to be diversified.”         outdoors and there will be lifting           Pay at Blue Grass varies with
  One of the latest additions to the Blue        involved, so employees have to be fit.       experience and the job, but as a
  Grass portfolio is a business unit selling     While the job doesn't require a              benchmark staff at the garden centre
  campfire wood. “It’s great for us              background in plants, an interest is         start at $12/hr, and a driver with a
  because we can cut and stack the wood          essential. As for the details, Blue Grass    Class 1 licence can expect to earn $22
  in our slow season.”                           trains its employees on all the plants,      per hour plus bonuses. A mechanic will
                                                 trees and shrubs they sell.                  start out at $25 per hour.
  Fun work environment
                                                 • Yard personnel                             All ages
  Since half of Blue Grass’ year-round                                                        Working at Blue Grass isn't just for
  business is done within a few months in        The primary job of yard staff is to load
                                                 the cars and trucks of customers. The        students. The company has a long
  spring and summer, work can get                                                             tradition of hiring older workers
  hectic, but it doesn’t mean it’s all           position requires physical strength and
                                                 safety is a big issue. As with nearly        looking for some extra income, or
  chores. “You have to have a laugh                                                           simply wanting to get out during the
  everyday,” says McCordick who takes            every job at Blue Grass, customer
                                                 service is important, and staff will be      summer months.
  pride in a fun work environment. And
  with a 60 per cent return rate for             trained on the products. Beyond              “We’re actually a pretty old bunch,”
  employees one year to the next, staff          loading, yard staff are responsible for      says McCordick. “and we try to
  seem to agree.                                 organizing yard activity and servicing       accommodate that whether it’s a less
                                                 the equipment.                               physically demanding job, or with
  Requirements                                   • Drivers                                    scheduling a shorter work week”
  The vast majority of positions at Blue         The economic boom has soaked up              Other positions (just ask)
  Grass don’t require much training or           nearly every driver in Alberta and           If you think your skills may be useful
  certification, but they all need               companies are feeling the shortage—          to Blue Grass, send your resumé. The
  someone who likes working outside              including Blue Grass which is looking        company is expanding and new roles
  and enjoys plants. “The rest we can            for people with a Class 1 driver’s           are emerging quickly. For example, the
  train,” says McCordick. Here are a few         licence. The work can involve loading        company is looking at hiring a
  of the jobs available, but if you have a       and unloading, so physical fitness is        dispatcher as the truck fleet grows.
  talent or skill that’s useful to a farmer or   required, and since drivers deliver          There's also a need for an accountant.
  a retail operation, it’s likely Blue Grass     straight to customers, good
  needs you.                                                                                  And of course, if you have any special
                                                 interpersonal skills are also a necessity.   skills with plants and trees, apply for a
  Jobs                                           • Mechanic                                   job. It’s very likely the company will
  • Landscaping personnel                        Like all farms and garden centres            make room for you even if the opening
  Landscapers keep the lawns of clients          there is plenty of machinery to keep         isn’t on the job board.
  green and clean. The job involves              working, and Blue Grass is always

Employer Connections - Alberta Employment, Immigration & Industry - Central Region

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