THUNDER BAY, ONT. — Victoria Carlyle, who is spending her summer working as a chemical engineering student at Resolute Forest Products, is one of 11 students who have received a 2022 Green Dream internship courtesy of the Forest Products Association of Canada.
The annual Green Dream Internship Program is a national initiative that was started in 2013 and is aimed at promoting young people who are passionate about working in the forest sector and have a strong commitment to their community and the environment.
In May of 2021, Carlyle received an engineering technology diploma from Lakehead University. She will return to the university to finish the final year of her chemical engineering degree program in September.
Outside of work and school, Carlyle has a passion for the outdoors and a great appreciation for sustainability. She says it’s great to be part of this internship because “it’s great to be able to share some of what we do with the general public.”
“The intern program gives me the opportunity to share my passion for science and for engineering by making it widely accessible and understandable for others,” she said. “Science isn’t actually super hard. You just have to break it down into smaller, more digestible pieces. So I’m working on my first piece of content which is a very basic process flow map about what the process (at the plant) is and how it works.”
Carlyle is also working on a second presentation about personal protective equipment and what they wear for personal protection to stay safe while working in the mill, “because safety is the most important thing,” she said.
Since being recognized for this program, she has had a couple of meetings with Montreal human resource personnel.
“The networking opportunity is really great both from senior people within Resolute and also the other students that are taking part in this program,” she said.
Forest Products Association of Canada president and CEO Derek Nighbor says, “The Green Dream Internship Program provides a first-hand look at our sector’s commitment to sustainable forest management and innovation, while offering a glimpse at how forestry supports hundreds of Indigenous and rural communities through an inclusive workforce that values sustainability, diversity, and opportunity across the country.”
He said the internship program is a good way to maximize that experience, especially with this newer generation of workers who want to do purposeful work.
“They want to know that they’re making a contribution to their community and to the environment,” he said. “In forestry, we’ve got one of the best-kept secrets in some of the great things that are happening at our mills and in our woodlands operations in terms of producing essential products, the sustainability of our products and the commitment to environments in our communities.”
Nighbor said the best way to tap into the value of each internship would be to encourage them to write a blog or produce a video about their experiences.
“That’s really what this program is about,” he said. “In addition to the money they would be making through their summer work, we give them an extra $1,000 to do a little bit of content for us, and then it gives us something to promote to young people across the country who might be thinking about a career in forestry and maybe don’t understand the potential that’s out there.”
Nighbor says they continue to be overwhelmed by applications every year, and are seeing a mix of interest right across the country.
“From Thunder Bay, through Quebec and eastern Canada and through the Prairies to Western Canada, we’re seeing very similar participation engagement of both young men and young women, which is exciting. French-speaking workers, people from different countries, it’s a really diverse platform of people which is exciting,” he said.
The Forest Products Association of Canada provides a voice for Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs.
This year’s Forest Products Association of Canada’s Green Dream intern recipients are Victoria Carlyle (Resolute Forest Products, Thunder Bay), Samantha Shapira (Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., Boyle, Alta.), Bailey Brokenshire (Tolko Industries Ltd., High Prairie, Alta.), Aidan Starosta (Resolute Forest Products, Montreal, Que.), Andy Goodson (Tolko Industries Ltd., Prince Albert, Sask.), Rosa Desy (Resolute Forest Products, Senneterre, Que.), Kimberley Berube–Boyle (Resolute Forest Products, Baie-Comeau, Que.), Danielle Dubeau (West Fraser, Hinton, Alta.), Basil Cooper (Canfor Corporation, Vancouver, B.C.), Jake Atkinson (Weyerhaeuser, Grande Prairie, Alta.), Cody Oliver (Alberta Newsprint Company, Whitecourt, Alta.).
Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal