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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:15 pm
 


People have often talked about how Alberta has been too reliant on O&G and needs to diversify itself in order to prosper. There are a number of oilpatch workers who are doing just that:

Quote:

Varcoe: Oilpatch workers switch to agribusiness as sector grows

CHRIS VARCOE, CALGARY HERALD Updated: November 19, 2019

Mark Shillingford conducted interviews last week for job openings at his company’s office in Quarry Park, with many applicants coming out of the oil and gas sector.

That’s not a surprise in an energy city such as Calgary.

But Shillingford is the director of marketing for BASF Agricultural Solutions, a division of the multinational chemicals giant, which recently relocated its Canadian agricultural headquarters to the city from Mississauga, Ont.

While roughly three dozen staff members migrated west to Calgary this year, BASF is also hiring people locally, with many applicants looking to leave Alberta’s largest industry behind for one of its oldest — an area that’s growing.

“I was just in interviews the day before and everybody I interviewed came from the oil and gas sector. They explained to us that they are looking for a change, they recognize the need to try and diversify themselves,” Shillingford said Friday.

“They are seeing some of their skills can be transferred over to ag.”

Since the downturn in oil prices five years ago, thousands of jobs have vanished from the energy industry landscape.

As recent layoffs at Husky Energy and Perpetual Energy indicate, job losses continue as the industry restructures, with fewer positions needed to produce more oil and natural gas.

ATB Financial chief economist Todd Hirsch says the energy sector has been the engine of economic growth for the province and it remains the backbone of growth. But it is “not growing in the same way it used to and not providing the opportunities of employment in the same way it used to,” he said in a speech last month.

While the province focuses on returning growth to the oilpatch, other areas of the economy are creating jobs, albeit in smaller numbers than Alberta’s biggest sector.

But they all add up, helping diversify the city and provincial economies.

Several agricultural companies have moved their head offices or expanded in Calgary in the past two years. For example, Bayer Crop Science consolidated its Canadian headquarters to the city this year after a merger with Monsanto.

Agribusiness is a key focus area identified by Calgary Economic Development, with opportunities seen in areas such as crop sciences, beverage manufacturing, value-added food and meat processing.

Calgary Economic Development CEO Mary Moran said workers are already moving out of the energy sector and into agribusinesses.

“The ability to pivot out of energy and going into ag is not a quantum leap,” she said.

“They often require similar skills and it’s across the board — it’s not just the technical skills, it’s the management skills, they are looking for people in HR, project management.”

For Bayer, consolidating its Canadian Crop Science division head office in Calgary added about 40 new positions to the city, with some staff relocating from Winnipeg and Regina, as well as new hires in areas such as agricultural science and various corporate functions.

Bayer officials estimate the office will have up to 125 roles once all positions are filled by the end of this year.

At BASF, some 37 employees made the trek to Calgary from various offices within the company, including Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario. (The decision followed BASF’s acquisition of a number of businesses from Bayer last year.)

The local headquarters, which officially opened on Oct. 1, now has about 65 workers and it’s expected to grow to about 80 or 90.

And why did it pick Calgary?

Shillingford said Calgary is close to its customers, BASF’s seed processing facility is in Lethbridge, and the city emerged “as an attractive place for the business” to both retain and attract new employees.

That includes Dan Moroz.

A professional accountant who spent almost eight years in the energy industry working in sales, business development and market outreach, Moroz was laid off from the oilpatch about two years ago.

He was hired by BASF three months ago and is the lead for seed treatment at the company.

“There are a lot of functions that are transferable skills that can be brought into the agricultural space,” said Moroz, who’d previously worked in a different area of the agriculture sector before toiling in the oilpatch.

“Finding work was near impossible in the energy industry. So it was a pretty conscious decision that I wanted to find another industry to be in.”

Similarly, Pam Weber said she’d be interested in getting into the agricultural industry — having grown up on a farm in Saskatchewan — after working in the oilpatch for about 16 years as a land agent.

“The oil and gas (industry) is great, huge bucks, but it is volatile,” said Weber, whose contract position at a pipeline company ended in June.

“I don’t want that anymore. I want something stable, I want something that doesn’t have those incredible ups and down like the oil and gas sector does.”

People looking to pivot from oil and gas into the Ag sector.

And there are opportunities in the agriculture sector, even with a difficult year facing many producers because of tough weather conditions and ongoing trade issues.

Since 1997, primary agriculture output (crop and animal production) has grown by 113 per cent in Alberta, while agrifoods (including food and beverage manufacturing) has increased by 54 per cent, according to Rob Roach, ATB Financial director of research.

Employment in the agrifoods industry in Alberta is up by 14 per cent in the past five years, while oil and gas extraction jobs have decreased by 15 per cent.

With the world’s population expanding, demand is increasing for many of Alberta’s agricultural products, Roach said.

“The growth potential is fantastic,” he added. “We have to compete, we’re not the only jurisdiction that would like to sell more food to the (world’s) growing middle class. But there’s no reason we can’t compete.”

Chris Varcoe is a Calgary Herald columnist.

cvarcoe@postmedia.com



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:33 am
 


DrCaleb wrote:
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To even imply that support of the energy industry or even agreement with government could become a criterion for determining whether an organization receives funding comes, we suggest, dangerously close to government direction of speech and thought.


Like Trudope and the student summer employment program?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:05 am
 


PublicAnimalNo9 wrote:
DrCaleb wrote:
Quote:
To even imply that support of the energy industry or even agreement with government could become a criterion for determining whether an organization receives funding comes, we suggest, dangerously close to government direction of speech and thought.


Like Trudope and the student summer employment program?


How does that even compare to the government deciding what companies will or will not advocate for? What does it have to do with the Feds?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:38 pm
 


llama66 wrote:
he doesn't give a shit about us Albertans. He assumes that we all made money hand over fist during the boom. They don't care that a lot of support jobs (ie. Restraunt staff, small business, security, <insert thankless service job here>) has also been swept away. People who worked 2 jobs now work 5 or 6. They don't care that we're Canadian too. All they care about is fucking Alberta and fucking Oil and Gas.

You'll excuse me when I tell the rest of the country to go fuck it's self. The rest of the Nation that feels that Alberta is a bunch of rich people lamenting about a bygone time need to look at the little guy who is also being fucked by your cowardly and unpatriotic actions.

There used to be a time when there was a "Can" to Canada. But now we've become so regionalised that we fail to see all the little people that are being crushed in your self-gratifying war on the one thing that made us a first world nation.

This country is full of sanctimonious arrogant sycophants, and it makes me sick to think that a nation as great as this would sabotage it's self so egregiously.


I agree that there are some down east who probably do think that way, but we're hardly blameless in this - people like King Ralph, Exra Levant and Stephen Harper (in case you forgot about his firewall letter) all poked and prodded at the ROC, if not downright gloated about how good the economy in Alberta was.

I grew up in Alberta and remember how tough it was in the 80s here with the NEP and 22% interest rates and all the rest. I also remember a famous bumper sticker that said, "Please God give us another boom. We promise not to piss it away!"

Yet that was exactly what we did.

We took tens of billions of dollars in natural gas royalties and partied like it was 1999 (ironically, it was). Then after 9/11, we took tens of billions of dollars more in bitumen royalties and acted like, " Woohoo, this is going to go on forever!"

Meanwhile, our provincial government, flush with cash, handed out Ralph bucks and spent every last dime coming in. We acted like Springfield Elementary:



Did anyone think to put anything away? Sure, a few bucks in a slush fund that was gone in a couple years after the 2008/09 downturn hit.

At the very least, do you think we stopped raiding the Heritage Trust Fund of its interest every year? Of course not! The fund today is worth the same (adjusted for inflation) as it was in 1991. [B-o]

Alberta has acted like the grasshopper for the past 20 years, merrily playing and dancing while winter approaches, instead of getting ready for lean years that we all knew were coming sometime in our future.

So while I don't like it, I don't blame other Canadians for enjoying our pain because we did it for years to them. Yes, two wrongs don't make a right, but that's karma for you - if you stick it to someone long enough, when you need their help, they'll say fuck you and leave you all by yourself.

Somebody needs to be the bigger man in this ridiculous quarrel, and based on Jason Kenney's recent actions/responses, it won't be us. So this stupid tit-for-tat will keep on going and average people will suffer for no good reason.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:39 pm
 


Thanos wrote:
All I'd like to know is why they're so resistant to understanding that in times like these all their patented sneering and scolding DOESN'T FUCKING HELP! And that, in fact, it makes the overall meta that much worse to endure. Serious, why in the fuck are so many of them like this? :?


Karma.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:33 pm
 


Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:47 pm
 


Thanos wrote:
Guess all those laid-off auto and manufacturing workers should have saved for a rainy day instead of spending all the money they made on toys.

Yeah. They should have. Luckily we had the foresight to not base 100% of economy on auto and manufacturing and continued go diversify even more so losses were mitigated


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:10 pm
 


Freakinoldguy wrote:

But but but but BIG OIL
:roll:


Yeah. The most powerful non-government entity in the world. You’re kidding yourself by pretending they have no impact on this. They are literally driving the bus.

Quote:
Given your continual attack on the oil industries funding model and constant ignoring of the environmental movement's one leads me to believe you're either willfully blind or just plain anti western Canada.

It also shows that you're willing to overlook the payouts to the environmental groups to stop pipelines while vilifying the oil industry and ignoring the environmentalists less than ethical behaviour.[:quote]

What environmentalist funding model? What “less than ethical“ behaviour? Who is funding the environmentalists and why? You guys can’t even say. You’ve got no idea who would perpetrate such a thing or what motives they might possibly have but you’re still certain there’s a conspiracy because...what...? Some environmental charities get a small portion of their funding from international charities, no different from any charities out there in the world today.

Quote:
And, as far as conspiracies go, the oil industries money is out there in full view for all to see, not hidden away like alot of the environment groups funding.
. No it is not in full view the oil companies and their astro-turf front organizations try to hide it and it gets leaked out in court filings, financial statements etc. Meanwhile the funding of these charities is not secret at all. And yet you still can’t fully bake your conspiracy theories about the alleged sinister forces supposedly behind these environmental groups.

Quote:
And riddle me this. What does the amount of money someone or some group has, have to do with them being ethical? Oh wait, I've got it. It's obviously a case of "we don't have as much money as big oil to push our agenda so therefore we're more ethical".
. Holy smokes are you kidding me? Big Oil and other polluters in general don’t want to lose profits from having to pay for new environmental regulations. Businesses naturally oppose regulations because they want to maximize profits and the richer they are, the more they’re able to push their agenda. Is that really so hard for you to understand?

Meanwhile “riddle me this”: What is the supposed secret agenda of environmental groups? If they’re as corrupt and sinister and dishonest and conniving as you say, they must have something to gain from it...what is it?

Oh wait. I’ve got it. “They just want attention “

To be honest that sounds like boomer logic


Last edited by BeaverFever on Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:02 pm
 


BeaverFever wrote:
boomer logic

That's an oxymoron.

XD


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:06 pm
 


Tricks wrote:
BeaverFever wrote:
boomer logic

That's an oxymoron.

XD



ROTFL


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:42 pm
 


Tricks wrote:
BeaverFever wrote:
boomer logic

That's an oxymoron.

XD

Hey!!!



:?



[moon]


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:26 pm
 


BeaverFever wrote:
Thanos wrote:
Guess all those laid-off auto and manufacturing workers should have saved for a rainy day instead of spending all the money they made on toys.

Yeah. They should have. Luckily we had the foresight to not base 100% of economy on auto and manufacturing and continued go diversify even more so losses were mitigated


Also one big difference between those manufacturing/autoworkers and oil workers is that unlike oil workers, the autoworkers aren’t apologists for the corporations. They are adversaries and they go on strike and openly criticize the decisions of management and the company.

Albertans OTOH just seem to toe the company line and demand taxpayer subsidies that they hope will trickle down in fact they act like the oil company executives don’t exist at all.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:09 pm
 


bootlegga wrote:
in Alberta and remember how tough it was in the 80s here with the NEP and 22% interest rates and all the rest.



You think the 22% was only in Alberta ? Well, I got news for you...


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:44 am
 


bootlegga wrote:
Did anyone think to put anything away? Sure, a few bucks in a slush fund that was gone in a couple years after the 2008/09 downturn hit.


Well then there is good news! The same bill that fired the guy looking into Kenney's shady election run, also transferred the assets of public service pension funds to AIMCO, same as the Heritage Trust Fund! Now all the slush funds are in one place!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:18 am
 


Thanos wrote:
Thanks.


I don't agree with it, but you can't shit on Canada when you're living large and then expect them to come running to help you when you're struggling.

Perhaps if more Albertans followed the golden rule, the rest of Canada would have our backs (kind of like how Canada stepped up for the Newfies after the cod fishery collapsed).

And I know it probably doesn't make you feel any better, but I've ridden in the same boat as you and had tough times (almost declared bankruptcy, lost my job and had to change careers, etc.). It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but I went back to school, got trained in something new and have a new career.

You can turn your life around if you really want to, it just takes willingness to try something new and a solid work ethic, which most Albertans have in spades - that's one of the things that makes Alberta an outlier in Canada.

We don't have to let the end of oil mean the end of our province like the end of steel did to the US Rust Belt - rage, rage against the dying of the light!

https://poets.org/poem/do-not-go-gentle-good-night

[B-o]


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