It’s one of the oldest clichés when companies say, ‘people are our most important asset.’ But having worked at Wood for ten years, I can honestly say that’s exactly what we believe.
As one of the largest U.S. employers of skilled trades and operators, we have a duty to develop a workforce for the future and are committed to creating meaningful and long-term career opportunities for our employees. Our goal is to create a satisfying employee experience for thousands of U.S. skilled trades and operators. We’re at the starting line, but we know what we need to do to reach the finish and that is recruit skilled and passionate professionals, reward them with competitive compensation and repay loyalty with progression, development and opportunity.
Wood employs over 60,000 people globally, including 6,000 skilled craft professionals and operators in the U.S., delivering iconic and challenging projects that are shaping the future of the world, and ranging from upstream oil and gas projects, downstream petrochemical facilities, renewable power to heavy civil industrial projects, and midstream pipelines stretching the length of the U.S. We also led the construction to install a 10,000 year, 500-ft clock in a remote West Texas mountain, as an example of making it possible. Wood has the vision and limitless career opportunities for those with skills, ambition and the desire to help advance how the world gets made.
Aside from exciting projects, myriad sectors and diverse terrains, we’re committed to providing a competitive benefits package for our frontline workforce and implementing a redeployment program that means the end of one project doesn’t mean the end to an employees’ career at Wood. Instead we want people to progress their career and be part of the team Wood family for the long haul. We aspire to provide a fulfilling and rewarding career that provides opportunity for training, career progression, a sense of family and celebration of our commitment to each other and our customers.
It pays to have the skills we need
Our benefits program is comprehensive, focusing on employee health, wellness, life and disability, and retirement. We recently invested in redesigning and enhancing our employee benefits namely:
Our 401k program is unlike our competitors, we don’t partially match employees’ benefits, we match 100%. That means dollar for dollar we fully match up to 5% of every participating employee’s 401K salary contribution. It’s also available to employees on day one of joining the company with no tiered vesting schedule – so your contributions and Wood’s matching contributions are always 100% yours. Participating in Wood’s 401K plan is like giving yourself a raise; while you don’t see the raise immediately, you will when you are ready to retire.
Our healthcare program is unrivaled as well. We looked across our competitors to understand how Wood could differentiate among peers. Our approach to the health and welfare of our people is in choice, which allows our employees to customize their health and welfare plan to meet their family’s needs at a price point they are comfortable with. Wood’s private exchange platform gives employees the choice of six medical plans with four national insurance carriers. Wood also offers voluntary coverage for short and long-term disability to all skilled craft professionals and operators, in addition to company-paid life and accidental death policies that are effective day one for all employees.
We also share success by offering a slice of the pie through our employee stock purchase scheme. This offers employees the opportunity to invest in a shared future and to own a stake in the business. We give our people one share for every two shares they purchase, which means they get three shares for the price of two.
There are plenty more perks too. We have a great employee assistance program (EAP) that provides free and confidential support to all employees for work and life matters including counseling, legal services, financial planning, health and welfare support, and personal goals. We also have agreements and partnerships with many national companies to bring our employees discounts and premier offers on everything from cars, electronics and holidays to education, fitness and entertainment.
Come for the experience, stay for the opportunity
We know great careers don’t just happen, so we have a structure that includes grading, salary benchmarking and career ladder planning. With this structure employees can see how their role can develop, understand the competency requirements to get that next promotion and it enables our hiring managers to develop agile teams; whereby our people have the option to move across the business to different projects, sectors, locations and disciplines.
Today, we are seeing particularly strong demand for electricians, pipefitters, welders and ironworkers. My focus is on trying to show prospective employees that Wood is a company you can have a lifelong career with rather than just the experience of working on a single contract or project. We believe that many of our people won’t have to experience as many gaps in employment if they choose a career here.
Help us advance how the world gets made
From Alaska through Canada, to the U.S. lower 48 and down to Colombia and Brazil, we have opportunities. This is a growth business and we are winning contracts every day and working with some of the world’s largest blue-chip companies on some of the most exciting and game changing projects, all of which are only possible with the right teams.
One of the largest projects Wood is working on is the mega Methanol plant that Yuhuang Chemical Industries Inc. and Koch Methanol Investments, LLC are developing in St. James, Louisiana. Elsewhere, Wood’s backlog includes numerous maintenance, operations and modifications contracts on the U.S. Gulf Coast, brownfield projects across the length and breadth of Texas and major power construction projects in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic states. The firm is experiencing its strongest growth in the Permian Basin, working on pipeline, power and even solar projects.
Learn and lead
We can point to several people such as foremen, supervisors, project managers and construction managers who have risen through the trades to senior leadership roles in what is now a multi-national corporation.
Having worked with so many project teams and construction crews in my career here, I have come to learn that the most valuable learning comes from hands-on, on-the-job training. Learning from peers is one of the best ways to learn a trade and Wood provides a really rewarding experience in this sense.
We also offer employees a full slate of formal employee training programs. With NCCER-accredited staff on our payroll, Wood is increasingly leveraging this in-house training resource for trade professions such as electricians and welders. We are committed to expanding our NCCER partnership as we add more employees. We are also building partnerships with trade schools all over the country and seeking to do the same with many of our country’s most admired military bases.
If you are an experienced skilled craft professional, my advice is to get your NCCER certification under your belt and listed in your credentials because the needs in the U.S. far outweigh just labor supply, anyone with that type of certification is on our highly desirable list.
Knock on Wood
Anyone interested in working for Wood can create a profile using our online recruiting tool on our website and apply for relevant opportunities. Our U.S.-based and global opportunities are posted on Wood’s careers site, it’s also a great place to start looking at some of the jobs we do and learning from other team Wood employees’ experiences.