On Tuesday February 14, the top 100 employers in B.C. were announced. Businesses and organizations from across the province were recognized for their exceptional workplaces, including some that hire and serve residents of the Nicola Valley. 

Known for fostering exceptional employee performance and promoting great work flexibility, Interior Health is recognized as one of B.C.’s top employers for 2023. 

Mark Bagabuyo is the Clinical Operations Manager for Gillis House, a senior home in Merritt operated by Interior Health. He praised Interior Health’s wide array of opportunities for growth within their ranks. 

“Interior Health offers lots of educational opportunities and employment opportunities,” he said. “If you are planning on moving somewhere within the region, there’s bound to be an Interior Health site that you could apply to.”

Bagabuyo began working for Interior Health in 2012. He worked as a nurse in Overlander Residential Care in Kamloops, then would continue working for the local health authority, moving to Ponderosa, Royal Inland Hospital, then Gillis House where he became a Team Lead and eventually Clinical Operations Manager. 

“This is such a professional environment,” said Bagabuyo. “Their hiring process is very professional, all my managers were very good, HR was very good.”

Bagabuyo wasn’t surprised in learning about Interior Health’s most recent achievement, as he already perceives the health authority as one of the best workplaces to be in.

“Based on my experience as a manager, we try to be very accommodating to all of our community partners and try to make all of our sites a good working environment.” 

Similarly, a local bus driver was not surprised to hear that B.C. Transit made it onto the list of top employers. 

The Merritt Transit System will expand its fleet from three to four following a recommendation from BC Transit. Marius Auer/Herald

“I think it’s well deserved,” said Merritt Transit Driver Doug Dowd. “They work really hard and they are very responsive to their employees’ needs. We are treated with respect because they know the value of the drivers.” 

Dowd has been working for B.C. Transit for 47 years, driving in Vancouver, Abbotsford, and Merritt. He began his driving career in 1974, and through his work he would eventually meet his now wife. Throughout his long tenure Dowd has found B.C. Transit to be a very thoughtful company, prioritizing their employees’ needs. 

“They treat us very well,” said Dowd. “If there’s something we need, they get right on it and give it to us. One time, I was worried about not having a phone in the office and the next day, there’s a phone!” 

Dowd only works three days a week, highlighting B.C.Transit’s flexibility trait. Other traits that won the crown corporation this employer recognition include the company’s constant efforts in recognizing employee achievements and milestones, maternity and parental support, and its exceptional employee development programs. 

The B.C. Top Employers for 2023 features 120 entities from across B.C. Other companies from the list that also serve the Nicola Valley include Save-On Foods, ICBC, BC Hydro, and Teck. 

On February 14, editors from Canada’s Top 100 Employers co published a special magazine with the Vancouver Sun to highlight the top employers of B.C. To see the full list of employers please visit https://www.canadastop100.com/bc/.