Working together as a family brings progress and leads to success. HyLife Foods' officials and workers spent a day of family fun, food and music Saturday, June 23; at 1 p.m. HyLife Foods held their annual Family Day at the Yellowhead Arena. There were bounce houses, mini golf, air brush tattooing and activity booths which the workers and their families thoroughly enjoyed.
Jeremy Janzen, HyLife's Human Resources Senior Director, and other company heads greeted the employees with their wives and children who came to celebrate this yearly affair.
A majority of the attendees were Filipino, but the company's Canadian, Korean, Ukrainian, Mexican and Columbian workers and their families were also there.
The Filipino newcomers joined the event as they were very eager to bond with their new co-workers. I spoke to a group of newbies and found out that most of them are now busy training for their specific duties. They expressed their views on how they were able to adjust to the weather, the demands of their new jobs and concerns about housing.
About 20 of the newcomers live out in a farm in northwest Rosedale, so they are quite anxious to find vacancies in town. As a standard procedure, HyLife provided them with temporary settlements for a month but they will eventually have to find accommodations elsewhere.
In fact, some of the new workers took the opportunity of being in town, after the event, to look for rental units. Some were successful but there are still others who are yet to find a place they can call home.
Also during the Family Day, I snatched 10 minutes of Jim Foster's time. He is the Human Resources Manager for HyLife Foods.
In light of the company's continuous hiring of Filipino workers, I asked Mr. Foster why they chose to recruit so many Filipinos. He said HyLife was impressed with the Filipino workers' positive attitude towards work.
The company head also stated that besides their skills, he was inspired by how they all worked so hard. Mr. Foster went on to say he was pleased with how the Filipinos have helped build the community in Neepawa.
He was fascinated at how the town is "diversifying". The HyLife official said it was nice to see so many children running around. At 5 p.m. there was a special supper prepared for the workers at the Yellowhead Hall. Everyone enjoyed the scrumptious meal and took turns singing in a Karaoke/Videoke machine set-up by the social committee.
According to the company's website, HyLife Foods (formerly Hytek) purchased Springhill Farms in 2008. Initially, they had 300 workers but today there are about 550. An estimated 800 workers will be employed by the end of 2012.
The internet site also indicated that most of the immigrants who work for HyLife are Filipinos. We Filipinos are known for our excellent work ethic because we work from the heart. We are recognized for our flexibility, industriousness and ability to learn easily.
We maintain a happy disposition despite the hardships of working in a foreign environment.
Jim Foster's words resonated with me.
He mentioned the common Filipino trait of holding a "debt of honour" for people who have done them good but cannot be repaid materially.
Mr. Foster said the Filipinos often convey their being "indebted" to HyLife for the opportunity the company granted.
He revealed that, in truth, it is reciprocity as HyLife has a "debt of honour" to the Filipino workers because they contributed to the company's success for which HyLife is exceedingly grateful.