Coast Mountain Wireless is growing, creating stable jobs in the telecommunications industry. The company installs and maintains wireless communication services in remote locations of the rugged North Coast, often on mountaintops. Services include two way radio, internet, TV and satellite to clients in the energy and mining sector, tourism and fisheries.
Business in Vancouver magazine named Coast Mountain Wireless one of the top 100 companies in the province in 2014 measured by revenue growth over five years. Revenue grew from $1.6 million to $3.4 million from 2009 to 2013 and the company increased its employees from eight to 15 in the past two years.
Owner Rob Dykman says more growth is around the corner with Coast Mountain Wireless planning to hire four more administrative and technical employees this year. The company recently moved from a 3,000 sq. ft. facility to 11,000 sq. ft. building on a two acre site. One of the company’s biggest projects was the Rio Tinto Modernization Project in Kitimat.
Dykman adds that investing in training for large projects has paid off. “We’ve done our best to be prepared to bid on large projects by investing in health and safety and staff training,” he explains. The expansion started with participating in procurement boot camps led by Northern Development Initiative Trust.
Rapid changes in technology mean the telecommunications business is constantly evolving. “That means keeping up with change over the years from satellites to WIFI and digital radio.”
While attracting trained employees to northwestern B.C. can be a challenge, they stay because they enjoy their jobs and the quality of life in Terrace. “Telecommunications employees are trained at B.C.I.T. so we are competing with jobs in the Lower Mainland. But the lower cost of living and wide range of outdoor activities in this area is a big draw. This is a great place to settle down and raise a family and we are offering stable, long term jobs.”
Dykman speaks from experience. He moved to Terrace from the Vancouver area to work as a radio and television engineer with the local TV station. He started working for Coast Mountain Wireless in 1999 and enjoyed it so much that he bought the company after a few years.