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EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT | STEVE FRECHETTE, WELDER

16 Apr
2021

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On April 16, 1996, Steve was hired on a one-month contract with NRC. 25 years later, he’s still with us!

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“I used to drive past NRC factory when I was a young boy, and tell my dad that one day I will going to work here. As soon as I finished welding school, I brought my resume. They told me they didn’t have any work for me at that time. I was determined to work here, so I came back 2 weeks later. I was hired for a one-month contract that I immediately accepted.”

(We just want to mention that when Steve says he dreamed of working at NRC because of the building, he wasn’t talking about our current factory, or even the early expansions. Nope. He’s talking about this, the thing everyone kindly called * salvage yard *)

Steve has been part of NRCFAMILY for 25 years. But why did he choose NRC in the first place?

SF: I knew they made awesome tow trucks at NRC. When I left school, I didn’t want to work in a production line. Always doing the same thing, the same parts… It’s not for me. I wanted to do big welding. A tow truck, I often compare to a model car kit! It’s the same as a big Lego. At the very end, you get to see the full result and can be proud of your contribution.

When I drive and see an NRC equipment on the road, it’s indescribable. I’ve been welding the frame and heart of heavy tow trucks at NRC for 25 years.

Over 25 years, Steve has witnessed a lot of evolution and innovation at NRC. What particularly stood out for him?

SF: When I joined NRC, we were around 20 employees (today we have over 165). Stephane worked in a mobile home on the side of the factory. I have seen all the expansions and all the eras of equipment!

When I started building tow trucks, we had our instructions in notebooks. They were notes at that time, not nice plans like today. This is how I learned. It was a lot of work welding old equipment, a lot more buffing! The first round fenders of the HIM were made by hand by Jean-Luc and me! There wasn’t much room for error at that time (laughs).

In the beginnings, we were all creators, artists. Everything was new! So when a client asked for a new type of storage , we custom-made it.

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In the early days, did you imagine that NRC would get that big?

SF: We knew we were building good products, something really different. But there’s no way we could have thought the company would become so important. My greatest pride is telling people we sell equipment all over the world.

How do we keep talented employees like Steve with us for so long in such a competitive job market?

SF: I have always like the vibe here. I had several offers. But here, I never felt like a number, like a simple employee. We’re a family. The human side of the company has always been very present. I’ve seen guys go and chat with Norbert about a little something and finally spend an hour in his office. Everyone takes the time here.

Collaboration, teamwork … How is it at NRC?

SF: Here, you always have the time to help! When a new employee comes to me with something that is not working, I will take the time to go see with him and suggest a possible solution.

I’m of the assumption that we all got our chance when we first started. When you start a job, you’re not at your best. When I got out of school, I wasn’t a welder. I like to say that the team around me and experience made me a good welder (without any pretention) – NRC endorses this statement.

The coolest project you’ve worked on?

SF: I have to say the CSR85 – because it’s just so impressive that this toy lifts 85 tons with ease.

I had the same feeling at the first HIM. The jig table we have now was built specifically for the design of the first HIM, 50/03!

Other than NRC, what are you passionate about?  

SF: The outdoors, bike with my girlfriend, spending time with the family. I love fishing and hunting! Every year, I will spend a week in the North (the true North, 51st parallel to be exact). It feels good to relax in nature, away from your phone.. I am slowly introducing my boy to hunting, it will be a great activity to do together!

Lastly, what does the NRCFAMILY means to you?

SF: Be part of the team, be part of the family. When you come to work, yes it’s a job, but it’s not at the same time. It’s like a home away from home.