Voices of Vaagen: Dave Cote, Production Supervisor
At Vaagen Fibre Canada, we are proud of all the team members who dedicate their time to sustainable forestry, helping us build strong partnerships in the community that lead to remarkable projects. Today, we are amplifying the voice of Dave Cote, Production Supervisor at Vaagen Fibre Canada (Vaagen).
Dave, who grew up in Rock Creek, had to move away for school and for work after graduation. His first brush with forestry was right out of high school, when he worked for the Ministry of Forests in the Junior Initial Attack program, fighting fires during a difficult fire season.
He later worked in Northern B.C. and in Alberta but wanted to work closer to where he grew up, and that’s when Dave applied for a job with Vaagen.
“In 2014, I moved back to Rock Creek because my wife and I wanted to raise our three kids in the Boundary area so they could have the same experiences we did growing up,” explained Dave. “My current position at Vaagen is Production Supervisor, which includes the kilns, and site wide cleanup.”
To expand his firefighting experience, Dave attended College of the Rockies (Fire Services training program). He then became a volunteer firefighter for the Midway Fire Department and is now a Captain within the department.
“I appreciate how much the Vaagen management team supports my involvement in the Fire Department, by allowing me to attend incidents and training as needed,” said Dave, adding that the support from Vaagen extended to allowing him to apply his skills for Vaagen as well.
Dave values Vaagen’s commitment and support of its employees, and moreover he values the ability for Vaagen to maintain the local forests, their commitment to local employment and their support of local businesses and organizations.
For Dave, the most important aspect of his job is to make sure that everyone works hard, knows that they are valued, and they go home safe. He is also proud that his team created a quality product well known and referred to as “Midways MSR”. As a result of this product, he and his team have been praised by contractors, Workers Compensation Board auditors, visitors and the management that “the mill has never been cleaner.” This, according to Dave, has made the clean up team extremely proud knowing they are doing a great job.
“I feel that it is important to not just tell people how to work, but to work with them. Every person on my team is an important part of the operation, and I try my best to make sure that they know that” Dave noted, adding that this was something he appreciated about the Vaagen management team as well.
“I appreciate the management team at Vaagen Fibre Canada, as well as the communication over Zoom and in person about the current direction the company is heading. I look forward to the future, working here at Vaagen,” said Dave.
Dave Cote was hired in 2016, and promoted in 2019 to Production Supervisor in charge of the kilns, breakdown hoist operation, all Forklifts and site wide cleanup with Vaagen Fibre Canada.
After graduating from College of the Rockies and the (Fire Services training program) while he didn’t become a fulltime firefighter, he did start volunteering for the Midway Fire department. Dave is currently the Captain within the fire department and is also an OFA level 3 attendant with Vaagen.