Coast Tire & Auto Service Ltd. operates a network of 26 commercial and consumer tire and auto service retail locations with a staff of over 300 employees in the Maritimes, including nine locations in New Brunswick. Coast Tire & Auto Service is the largest independent tire dealer in Atlantic Canada.
Coast Tire & Auto Service has worked to support new Canadians as they make the transition to winter driving for many years through offering “Welcome to Winter” information sessions with the YMCA Saint John’s Newcomer Connections. This evolved into ongoing job placements for young people, women, persons with disabilities, people from Indigenous communities, people of colour, newcomers, LGBTQ+ individuals and older workers. As these groups have joined Coast Tire, work has been done to integrate them into their teams and train their staff on cultural sensitivity. Many of the skilled foreign workers who have joined the team through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program and other programs have had assistance in obtaining permanent residency in Canada through Coast Tire.
As an organization, they are dependent on a pipeline of skilled tradespeople to staff their stores and service their customers, including some of the largest commercial fleets in eastern Canada. They have recruited skilled employees from both the New Brunswick Community College and Nova Scotia Community College’s pre-employment programs, including international students. This focus on skills-based training has allowed them to benefit from the wealth of experience and diversity of backgrounds. Coast Tire has had a top-down approach for supporting newcomers with the senior leadership actively encouraging diversity and inclusion among the management team. Their front-line managers know that newcomers bring a positive attitude, exceptional work ethic, and willingness to learn to their employers. They have empowered and supported their teams to make the extra effort to navigate language and cultural challenges and offer necessary accommodations such as building in time for language training or different cultural and religious practices, like prayers.