by Ruby Arsenault, Employment Coach/Facilitator with Tignish Employment Resources Centre
Tignish, just as many other small towns across Atlantic Canada, has welcomed many newcomers and past residents who are returning home.
Many of these individuals want to join the workforce either part-time, seasonal, or full-time, which is good news for our local businesses and organizations.
Meet one of Tignish’s newest residents and a successful job seeker: Jennifer Heaman. In April 2021, Jennifer and her partner Larry LeClair moved from the Ottawa area to Larry’s hometown of Tignish. It was Larry\’s desire to retire and replant his roots closer to his mom and sisters.
Jennifer has had a wide variety of work experience. “Most recently, I was providing end of life and transitional care services as a Peace Doula for seniors and their families. I was also a Security Clearance Officer for government human resource staffing offices in Ottawa.
“Previously, I worked for 20 years providing global program management support in the aerospace and telecommunications engineering industry, which included acquiring personal PMP training hours. I am very familiar with the operating realms of program management and coordination and thrive in shifting hats and building relationships.
“Prior to this, I worked for eight years supporting mental health and nursing facilities for seniors in psychogeriatrics and community care.
“After a health scare in 2012, I stepped away from corporate life to enrich my own health and soul with personal studies that included over 900 hours in yoga and meditation teacher training studies.”
Her job search on PEI
Jennifer says when she started applying for work on PEI, she was relieved to find that the job market is quite healthy with many options.
“The job market on PEI is thirsty for employees. However, finding a full-time year-round position in the West Prince area was not easy. I sought opportunities to volunteer and show my interest in supporting Tignish. I connected with town representatives and was an enthusiastic volunteer with the Tignish Irish Moss Festival, supporting the Quilt Show and organizing a Yoga on The Beach event.
“My job research led me to the Tignish Employment Resource Centre, which I found to be very connected to the pulse of the community,” says Jennifer.
In my role as an Employment Specialist, I helped Jennifer to become a volunteer at the Tignish Seniors Home Care Cooperative Ltd. Her first step was to attend an information night with senior home representatives LoriAnne Keough and Brenda Doyle.
“The meeting was a great way to break the ice and learn more about the senior home and how I may be of assistance,” says Jennifer. “The meeting led to an invitation for me to volunteer to help grow the volunteer base for the centre.”
In September 2021, Jennifer was invited by the Tignish Employment Resource Centre to reapply for a position at The Tignish Seniors Home Care Cooperative. “I was delighted to be invited for an interview with the Executive Board. Although it felt intimidating at first, the members soon made me feel very comfortable and I left the interview excited for the opportunity.
“Waiting to hear about your future employment can be stressful, and Ruby\’s encouragement was very much appreciated. When LoriAnne Keough called to offer me the job of Office Manager / Human Resources, I was in shock, as I knew many had applied for the role, and my excitement has stayed with me since.
“Tignish Seniors Homecare is quite unique. The employer goes the extra mile for their residents and staff. Administrator LoriAnne Keough and Floor Supervisor Sheila Pridham have worked hard for many years to ensure the facility is a home without stress or worry for our residents.
“They have put together a team that respects our facility, its residents, and each other. The Board of Directors led by Brenda Doyle actively works to ensure that we have all that we need to operate. I respect their dedication and am proud to be a valued part of this team.
“Our centre provides care for our community\’s most fragile, which is especially challenging during the pandemic. The demands on our team are extremely high right now. My responsibilities are vast and every task is important.
“I am so proud to watch how supportive and interactive our team is to everyone they work with. The staff shortages increase the responsibilities and pressure here; however, the support of the community of Tignish leverages our strength.
“I recently witnessed staff arrange to sleep at our facility when a blizzard threatened to blow through in order to ensure there would be enough people to care for our residents. I have never witnessed this same commitment elsewhere, as normally bad weather can be a general excuse for those that do not commit 100 percent to their employer.”
Jennifer is now enrolled in the online Holland College Human Resources Management program. “Ruby recommended that I take this course, and I am very grateful to her for researching and connecting me to the training.
“Our centre is in need of volunteers and staff. In order to acquire the best, we must lead by example. This training will help me support our teams by providing me with knowledge of PEI labour laws, health plans, counselling services, and current database development options.
“As well as marketing our employment requirements, I plan to continue to help to develop our administration system, employee benefits, arrange external company discounts, and training and team-building events.
“Our company is growing and our teams will be growing with it. As a newcomer to Tignish, I sympathize with the courage required to put yourself out there to establish yourself and succeed in a new arena. Tignish is a great place to relocate for a fresh healthy start and I am grateful to be here.
“I owe a lot of my recent career success to the kindness of the lady behind the desk at the Tignish Employment Resource Centre. Thank you, Ruby Arsenault! Your support is the very best.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
about the Tignish Employment Resource Centre, call Ruby Arsenault at 902-882-2498 or check Facebook.
For more information about working at Tignish Seniors Home Care Cooperative Ltd, contact LoriAnne Keough at 902-882-4663 or email [email protected].