Top Kootenay Employers

Kootenay Business presents its annual list of Top 120 Kootenay employers based on employment numbers

How does our Kootenay economy compare to the provincial economy? One metric we can use to compare the two is the percentage of manufacturing versus service jobs.

The manufacturing sector (or goods sector) includes not only companies that produce tangible goods but also includes forestry, mining, utilities and construction businesses.

The other part of an economy is the service sector, made up of companies that primarily earn revenue through providing intangible products and services. This sector includes companies involved in retail, transport, food services, medical, educational and hospitality ventures.

According to Statistics Canada, British Columbia’s employment by major industry is 80 per cent in the service sector and 20 per cent in the goods sector (based on data from December 2017).

How does our Kootenay economy compare? Based on our latest Top 120 list of Kootenay employers, our economy comprises 65 per cent service-producing jobs and 35 per cent goods jobs. That’s a significant difference: 20 versus 35 per cent in the goods sector. Our rural resource-based economy is certainly an important factor in that difference.

Focusing on just the top 25 employers, our goods sector is led by mining (Teck), forestry (Canfor, Zellstoff Celgar, Louisiana-Pacific, Interfor, CanWel and Downie Timber) and utility (FortisBC) companies. Farther down the list, other Kootenay companies produce electronics, insulation, coffee, beer, signs and timber constructions, among other goods.

In terms of our services sector in the Kootenays, two of the top employers are in the health field: Interior Health Authority and Golden Life. The B.C. provincial government is third on our list of biggest employers. The education sector provides many of our region’s jobs, and many diverse jobs are in the hospitality industry. Farther down the list, our retail malls and food stores provide much service employment.

A typical trend in developed countries’ economies is an increase in the service sector and a concomitant decrease in the goods sector. Will this trend prevail in the Kootenays? How will this shape our region over time? Interesting questions to ponder.

  Company Location Employees
1Interior Health AuthorityEast & West Kootenay5,356
2Teck Coal Ltd.East Kootenay4,000
3BC Government & Service Employees Union (Members)East & West Kootenay2,200
4FortisBC Throughout B.C.2,200
5Teck - TrailTrail1,432
6Golden Life East & West Kootenay1,245
7CanforEast Kootenay971
8School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake)Nelson 819
9School District No. 5 (Southeast Kootenay)Cranbrook, Elk Valley & South Country700
10Fernie Alpine Resort/Resorts of the Canadian RockiesFernie625
11School District No. 6 (Rocky Mountain)Golden/Invermere/Kimberley586
12School District No. 20 (Kootenay-Columbia)Castlegar/Fruitvalel/Robson/Rossland/Trail/Warfield550
13Canadian Mountain Holidays LP.East & Central B.C.500
14Panorama Mountain VillagePanorama500
15Selkirk College Castlegar/Grand Forks/Kaslo/Nakusp/Nelson/ Trail450
16Zellstoff Celgar Limited PartnershipCastlegar413
17Kimberley Alpine Resort/Resorts of the Canadian RockiesKimberley400
18Louisiana-Pacific Canada Ltd.Golden & Malakwa355
19Regional District of Central KootenayCreston/Kootenay Lake/Nelson350
20Revelstoke Mountain ResortRevelstoke350
21Interfor CorporationCastlegar & Grand Forks 309
22Tamarack CentreCranbrook300 - 350
23CanWel Building Materials Group Ltd. (Formerly Jemi-Fibre)East Kootenay300
24Downie Timber Ltd.Revelstoke300
25Real Canadian SuperstoreCranbrook300
26Skookumchuck Pulp Inc., A Paper Excellence CompanySkookumchuck300
27Waneta PlazaTrail300
28School District No. 51 (Boundary)Beaverdell/Big White Ski Resort/Christina Lake/Grand Forks/Greenwood/Midway/Rock Creek280
29College of the RockiesEast Kootenay277
30BC HydroEast & West Kootenay271
31St. Eugene Golf Resort & CasinoCranbrook260
32Kicking Horse Mountain Resort/Resorts of the Canadian RockiesGolden250
33Pacific Insight Electronics Corp.Nelson/Vancouver250
34Red Mountain ResortRossland250
35Whitewater Ski ResortNelson225
36Roxul Inc.Grand Forks220
37Marbor Holdings (Hume Hotel & Spa and Best Western Plus Baker Street Inn) Nelson213
38Kootenay Savings Credit UnionEast & West Kootenay208
39City of NelsonNelson201
40True Key Hotels & Resorts Ltd.Radium Hot Springs200
41City of CranbrookCranbrook180
42Ferraro FoodsRossland & Trail175
43Kootenay Country Store Co-opNelson170
44Vic Van Isle GroupRevelstoke155
45Prestige Hotels & ResortsEast & West Kootenay154
46Kalesnikoff Lumber Co. Ltd./Kootenay Innovative Wood Ltd. Castlegar150
48Sutco Contracting Ltd.Creston/Salmo/Chilliwack/Kelowna150
49Columbia Brewery (Labatt)Creston143
50Porcupine Wood Products Ltd.Salmo125
52Canada SafewayCranbrook118
53Canada SafewayNelson115
54Kicking Horse CoffeeInvermere110
55Canada SafewayCastlegar103
56City of FernieFernie100
57City of RevelstokeRevelstoke100
58City of TrailTrail100
59Mainroad East Kootenay ContractingEast Kootenay100
60Martech Electrical Systems Ltd.Castlegar100
61Western Financial GroupEast & West Kootenay (Elkford, Sparwood, Fernie, Golden, Kimberley, Cranbrook (Baker Street & Tamarack Mall), Creston, Salmo, Fruitvale, Kaslo)100
62Island Lake LodgeFernie95
63School District 10 (Arrow Lakes)Nakusp92
64Glen Transport (A Division of DCT Chambers Trucking Ltd.)Skookumchuck90
65Selkirk PavingCrescent Valley90
66Transcendent Mining and Mobilization Inc.Elkford 89
67J.H. Huscroft Ltd.Creston85
68RHC Insurance Brokers Ltd.East & West Kootenay85
69Eagle Ranch ResortInvermere75
70La Baguette CateringRevelstoke75
71Maglio Building Centre/Maglio Building Centre (Trail) Ltd.Nelson & Trail75
72Selkirk Signs & Services Ltd.Cranbrook/Calgary/Edmonton75
73Yellowhead Road & Bridge (Kootenay) Ltd.West Kootenay75
74Amec Foster Wheeler Americas LimitedTrail74
75Royal LePage East Kootenay Realty East Kootenay69
76Galena ContractorsNakusp67
77Atco Wood Products Ltd.Fruitvale63
78Regional District of East KootenayCranbrook & Columbia Valley62
80East Kootenay Community Credit UnionEast Kootenay60
81Fab-Rite Services Ltd.Cranbrook60
82Halcyon Hot Springs Resort Ltd.Halcyon Hot Springs60
83New Dawn Developments Ltd.East Kootenay60
84Overwaitea FoodsCreston60
85Canada SafewayTrail55
86City of CastlegarCastlegar55
87Heritage Inn Hotel and Convention CentreCranbrook55
88The Heid Out & Fisher Peak Brewing CompanyCranbrook55
89Selkirk Security Services Ltd.East & West Kootenay 53
90Columbia Basin TrustEast & West Kootenay52
91Northstar GMCranbrook & Creston52
92Golden IGAGolden50 - 60
93Canadian TireTrail50
94Grand Forks Credit UnionGrand Forks50
95Overwaitea FoodsGolden50
96Revelstoke Credit UnionRevelstoke50
97Trainor Mechanical Contractors Ltd.Nelson50
98Kootenay Insurance Services Ltd.East & West Kootenay48
99Nelson & District Credit UnionCrawford Bay/Nelson/Rossland47
100Box Lake Lumber Products Ltd.Nakusp45
101Heritage Credit UnionCastlegar/Greenwood/Slocan Park45
102Home Hardware Building CentreCranbrook45
103Liberty Food Store Ltd.Fruitvale45
104Southeast Disposal LtdCranbrook45
105Finning CanadaCranbrook43
106Columbia Power Castlegar42
107Hamill Creek Timber HomesMeadow Creek42
108Wildstone Golf CourseCranbrook42
109City of Grand ForksGrand Forks41
110Koocanusa Publications Inc.Cranbrook40
111Top Crop Garden Farm & PetCranbrook39-50
112A.M. Ford (Sales) Ltd.Trail38
113Best Western Plus Fernie Mountain LodgeFernie35
114Canadian Timberframes Ltd.Golden35
115Town of GoldenGolden35
116Alpine ToyotaCranbrook33
117Denham Ford (BC) Ltd.Cranbrook33
118Investors Group Financial ServicesEast & West Kootenay31
119Boundary Electric (1985) Ltd.Grand Forks30 - 35
120Big Red Cats (Red Shutter Inn Ltd.)Rossland30

Think your business should be on our list? Email Kootenaybiz and let us know how many employees your business has.