Harvey Tremblay believes that you have to treat people like professionals if you want them to deliver professional results. As founder of Hy-Tech Drilling, headquartered in Smithers B.C., Tremblay has worked on providing his crew with learning opportunities so they can work anywhere in the world.
“In the past, drilling was seen as unskilled labour,” said Tremblay. “But it is very challenging because you’re working with a lot of variables in a remote location. You have to take into account the weather, the different types of rock, and the machines.”
Tremblay started his career in construction, building remote mining camps, drill pads, and other infrastructure in isolated regions of B.C. He founded Hy-Tech Drilling in 1991 after he bought a diamond drill from his previous employer, and went into business for himself. The company now employs up to 300 people and operates across Canada, in Spain, Portugal and Alaska too.
“There was a lot to learn about the rocks, managing people, using the machines,” he said. “In the past, I thought that running a business was a mechanical process. But as the business grew, I realized that it was about the people, and you had to treat them like professionals if you want them to excel.”
Because of this desire to acknowledge his employees’ work, Hy-Tech Drilling had a staff member sit on the board of the Mining Industry Human Resources Council to help develop industry-standard training.
“We were an early adopter of the new national standard and we got all of our crews up to date,” he said. “It isn’t on the same level as other trades where you can get a red seal, like carpenters or electricians, but it is something our crews can put on their resume to show they are trained.”
Tremblay is nearing retirement and is taking more of a hands-off approach with the company these days, but looking back on it he is happy he followed his passion.
“Don’t do a job just to make money,” he said. “If you want to succeed and make a life out of it, you have to do it for a bigger reason than that.”