by Gloria Welton
Green Diamond Equipment has 15 locations across the Maritimes with over 375 staff. “The number of staff increases during the summer months when seasonal staff are hired,” says Krista Prescott, Director of Human Resources, who has worked for the company for seven years.
The three PEI locations in Stratford, Summerside, and Bloomfield currently have a total of 93 employees.
“We are proud to have been selling equipment to homeowners, farmers, landscapers, construction companies, golf course owners and more for over 15 years as Green Diamond Equipment.”
Some job titles with the company
Agriculture Technicians are Heavy Equipment Mechanics who work on larger agricultural tractors and implements.
Turf Technicians work on smaller John Deere equipment such as lawn and compact utility tractors and on Stihl and other small engine equipment. For this position, they look for people with a Small Engine Mechanics course.
BRP Technicians work on Bombardier products such as Ski-Doo® Snowmobiles, Sea-Doo® Watercraft, and Can-Am® Off-Road Vehicles as well as Can-Am® On-Road Vehicles in Stratford.
Ag Sales Representatives could have a background in sales or agriculture and would be trained in-house in the skills and knowledge needed.
Other positions include Branch Managers, Parts Managers, Service Managers, Parts Counter Clerks, Yard/Detailers, and administrative staff. Previous related experience is considered an asset.
Most employees work full-time year-round, except for seasonal positions, which are full-time for the summer with the potential to work until October.
Krista says they hire students for the summer months and provide the opportunity to come back summer after summer while in post-secondary. “Some of these students are offered employment with us once they finish their educational path, and they progress and advance in our company. We have managers who started as yard workers and have been here with the company long-term.
“New positions are opening all the time and we look to promote from within.”
Current hiring needs and opportunities to apprentice with the company
“We are always planning for further openings,” says Krista. “Currently, we have two open positions at our Summerside branch, one in Stratford, and one in Bloomfield.
“We are looking to hire an Agriculture Technician to work on the larger agricultural tractors and equipment. That person would need to have a heavy equipment mechanic background. Whether the applicants are certified or completing their apprenticeship, we want to hear from them.
“We also are looking to hire an apprentice Agriculture Technician. There are a few ways to apprentice with us: do the training through a college program and come into our dealership as an apprentice and do the rest of the blocks under a Red Seal Mechanic, or if you are mechanically inclined and have a little bit of a background in the field, you can start as an apprentice with us and we can help you build skills from the beginning up to Red Seal designation.
“While apprentices work with us and go through their block release programming, we offer a 95 percent top-up of their Employment Insurance while they are in the classroom doing block release. We like to try to alleviate any financial stress while they are in the classroom and working towards their Red Seal.
“We are looking for an experienced Service Manager for our Stratford location. This person should ideally have three-plus years of managerial experience such as a Shop Foreman, Lead Hand, Supervisor, etc. Experience in the agricultural, heavy equipment, or related industry would be considered an asset.
“For our Bloomfield location, we have a seasonal Parts Counter Sales position open. This would start immediately and extend through the summer months into early fall with the potential to become permanent. The ideal candidate would have knowledge of parts and machinery, good computer skills, and offer great customer service.”
Testament to the quality of work and opportunities with this company
“My husband was a dairy farmer, so I married into the industry and fell in love with agriculture,” says Krista.
“Coming from an HR background, I started in the training department as the Training Coordinator when joining Green Diamond Equipment. We offer many in-house training options to help employees progress in their career with us.
“This company is very family oriented, and I am not just saying that because I am in HR – they really walk the talk. My husband now works for the company as an Agricultural Equipment Sales Representative. He saw how great they treated me, and working here really suited where he was with his career pathway.”
Krista says she is passionate about agriculture and her work with Green Diamond. “A lot of what the company is doing is all about continuous improvement. The HR department has doubled over the last number of years because the company has invested in a lot of resources for employees.
“For instance, we offer a Financial Literacy program through Enriched Academy that offers staff an online catalogue of courses, as well as live webinars that I actually took myself and then arranged to have it available to all staff. It is offered to all staff at no cost to them. Our department has the support and direction from senior management to bring to the employees what is needed for their success.”
Connecting to youth
“We do our best to connect to the community and especially youth through presentations and speaking engagements. We tell the youth it is important to take every opportunity they are given. We have worked with the local 4-H programs and offer interview and resumé pointers.
“It is very near and dear to my heart to connect with youth and help them prepare, connect to the workforce, and provide suggestions to help them adapt to change.
“Even if they are loyal and committed to working on the farm, I suggest they consider taking time away to continue their education. Further education adds to their life-long learning and ability to pivot when or if changes come along.
“Farming is one aspect of agriculture, but there are other options in agriculture that are very fulfilling and needed as well. My husband’s and my career path in agriculture are great examples of the stages people can go through in their work lives.”
Encouraging everyone to consider agriculture as a strong career pathway
“I tell everyone to keep an open mind and to consider the possibilities of whatever industry they are interested in. Especially women. Women certainly have a place in non-traditional trades.
“We have a lot of gender diversity within leadership and strong roles in this company, including Service Managers, Parts Managers, Sales Representatives, and Directors.
“I would suggest looking for a company that values you and what you can offer them. No one should have to struggle to achieve their career aspirations. Our company offers equitable opportunities.”