by Stella Shepard
Daniel Grant of Valleyfield grew up in rural PEI with a strong desire to work and live in his community.
Daniel graduated from the plumbing program at the Holland College Georgetown Centre in 2017 and earned a Red Seal certificate in 2020.
After five years of working in the trade, he recently launched a business called Clearwater Plumbing, which offers residential plumbing services and renovations. At some point, he plans to expand to plumbing new homes and specialize in water pumps, filtration, and treatment.
“When I started in the trade as an apprentice, everything I learned was second hand from trade mentors,” says Daniel. “I noticed a transition, where I was learning less from other people’s experience and more from my own firsthand experience.
“Rather than asking for help or advice, I found myself trying to figure things out for myself. I realized if I wanted to continue growing as a tradesman, I would have to start my own business.”
Self-employment allows Daniel to work in rural PEI where he lives with his wife and their two young children. “My dad was a millwright and travelled extensively throughout North America with his job,” says Daniel. “It inspired me to work in the trades and to work independently.
“I didn’t like the travelling aspect of employment, and I chose plumbing as a way to earn a comfortable wage while staying in my rural community. I wanted a career in the trades without having to work off-Island.”
“I will hire as my business grows,” says Daniel. “I plan to hire an apprentice to assist me once I’m not so busy with starting the business. I feel I can accomplish more with an extra set of hands.
“In the future, I would like to employ another journeyman plumber because I can’t be in two places at once and it’s difficult to balance scheduled work with emergency work.
“Plumbers have a hard time keeping up with the workload, customers have a hard time getting a plumber, and we are always going to need plumbers. Plumbing offers a wide range of career opportunities and employment is high for graduates of the Holland College Georgetown Centre plumbing program.”
Pathway to self-employment
“As I became confident in my plumbing skills and knowledge, I decided it was time to become self-employed,” says Daniel. “I have the adaptability to overcome obstacles and I am confident in my ability to manage jobs, people, inventory, and time.
“I believed I could provide more value to myself, family, and customers if I were a plumbing business owner. I knew very little about business so I set out to learn. The Atlantic Trades Business Seal program taught me the skills I needed to start and operate a trades business.”
Community Business Development Corporation East (CBDC), located at the Rural Action Centre on Main Street in Montague, assists in creating small businesses and in expanding and modernizing existing business.
CBDC East is staffed by Martina MacDonald, Director, Helen Antle, CBDC Officer, and Terri Taylor, Accounts Officer.
CBDC East provides financial and technical services to entrepreneurs. Services target entrepreneurs who require customized financing not ordinarily available from traditional sources.
“CBDC East provided a start-up loan that allowed me to purchase tools, a van, and inventory,” says Daniel. “The Successful Business Basics course offered through CBDC East helped with finishing my business plan.
“CBDC East helps with networking and connecting with people and helped make it possible to start my own business. If I need to, I can contact the staff and ask questions.
“I would recommend the services provided by CBDC East because they are much more willing to help and they want to see people in the community succeed.”