Recently, PEI employers met with newcomers looking for alternative ways to apply their skills to the PEI labour market. Employers and newcomers discussed local labour market information through round table discussions, guest speakers, and workshops.
Sectors represented included Bioscience, Information Technology, Finance/Accounting, Health, Trades, Aerospace & Defence, and Early Childhood Education.
This event was organized and hosted by PEI Association of Newcomers to Canada in collaboration with RDÉE Prince Edward Island, and the Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning.
For more information about the PEI ANC, visit www.peianc.com.
For more about RDÉE Prince Edward Island, visit www.rdee.ca.
TJ's Construction Ltd., TJ's Windows & Castle Building Centre and VY Build Inc.
50 Grant Street, East Royalty
“I was once told that doing what you love will make you feel successful and everything else that comes along will be icing on the cake,” says Tim McHatten.
Tim came to PEI from New Brunswick, and has owned and operated TJ’s Construction for 28 years. TJ’s Windows & Building Centre has been open for nine years. “Our new company, Vy Build Inc., focuses on the energy efficiency market, particularly solar energy. We are incorporating energy efficient technology into our homes and other construction developments.”
The three companies have a total of eight staff. “Right now we have two staff who design our kitchens and windows, and we have a store manager and a store sales person who multi-task by working in the lumber yard as well. We also have carpenters and labourers at the work sites.
“We keep a lean operation, but we are working on expanding our labour force.” Tim is looking to hire more staff in the following areas:
- Delivery driver
- Warehouse shipping and receiving
“We could always use more experienced carpenters and labourers when the busy season hits. Ideally, I look for people who want to stay with the company long-term.
“We offer year-round work for several store and administration staff, but we have to thin out the number of construction workers for a few winter months.”
Tim has hired people through the PEI Association of Newcomers and has been very pleased with the skills set they offer. “They have been hard working and loyal. The language barrier has been a bit of a challenge, but nothing that we have not been able to overcome. We want to give people a chance and are keen to make it work by taking our time to explain in more detail and answer questions to help them get their work done properly.”
They plan to complete a new showroom for their products by 2018.
How to apply
“We advertise our jobs on WorkPEI, which is a fantastic way to post jobs and search for job seekers who match the skills we need.”
The store manager posts the jobs and is the contact for setting up interviews. For more information about TJ’s Windows & Building Centre, call 902-370-3062. Visit www.peiwindows.com and www.vybuildinc.com.
For more about the Canadian Home Builders Association-PEI, call 902-367-6125. Visit www.chba-pei.ca.
Thinking Big, Charlottetown
Thinking Big is made up of a group of committed Business Analysts, Technical Writers, Front-End Designers, Software Developers, Testers, and Project Managers. The company provides consulting services to government and corporate clients.
The company hires skilled people in the following types of positions:
- Junior Developer
- Senior Developer
- Microsoft Dynamics CMR Business Analyst
- Project Designer
Steve Zheng was a newcomer and a jobseeker last year at the Alternate Careers event for newcomers held in Charlottetown. As a result of attending the event, Steve secured employment with Thinking Big as a Solutions Architect and Delivery Assurance Manager.
“I am from China, and last year I was searching for a job, just like you are today,” Steve told a group of newcomers.
“I was well prepared before attending the event by practising what I would say to employers. I introduced myself to employers and within 30 seconds told them my top three IT skills. I followed up with a resumé. Thinking Big hired me about a month later.
“My advice to job seekers seeking employment is not to be shy, even if you don’t speak English very well. Try to attend every event connected to job seeking. Be prepared and rehearse what you will say to employers. Be ready to list your top three skills in the IT sector.
“Do a follow-up by sending a resumé and later a telephone call to let the employers know you are interesting in working for their company.”
For more information about Thinking Big, visit www.thinkingbig.net.
If you like helping clients, believe in personal development and are looking for a challenging but rewarding career with a company that is committed to diversity, look no further than RBC says Li Yuan Ma, a Commercial Account Manager with the bank in PEI. Over 50 employees work at RBC’s four branches and at an RBC Dominion Securities office on the Island. Nine employees are newcomers, eight of whom are Chinese.
An immigrant from China, Li Yuan can speak to the importance of companies having a diverse team that reflects their diverse customer base. “Newcomer staff help us communicate with newcomer clients. There’s an inherent trust that comes when dealing with someone who shares your culture or background.”
Li Yuan started at RBC five years ago and quickly progressed through the ranks. She started as a Client Advisor, and then became a Personal Account Manager before moving to Commercial Banking. “I am proud to have advanced career within this amazing corporation,” she says. “Once you start with RBC the possibilities are endless as long as you are committed to providing an outstanding customer experience and to always being at your best. We have a strong corporate culture where employees are encouraged to reach their goals.”
Having joined RBC out of university, Li Yuan also appreciates RBC’s commitment to helping young people reach their potential. Today’s youth are more educated than any other generation before them, yet they can no longer count on graduating from university and college and beginning a long and rewarding career. Instead, they’re unemployed or underemployed, piecing together short-term jobs, and face more challenges than their parents did when entering the workforce. RBC hopes to change that with RBC Future Launch – a 10-year, $500-million initiative investing in helping young people gain access and opportunity to the skills, job experience and career networks needed for the future world of work.
“RBC Future Launch is not just a commitment to young people, it is a commitment to the future prosperity of our country, and that makes me very proud,” says Li Yuan. “It’s just another reason to love working for RBC!”
For RBC job postings, resumé and interview tips, visit www.rbc.com/careers.
For more information on RBC Future Launch, visit www.rbc.com/dms/enterprise/futurelaunch/all14-all-or.html.
Early Childhood Education
Île Enchantée, Carrefour de l’Isle-Saint-Jean, Charlottetown
Île Enchantée, Carrefour de l’Isle-Saint-Jean, Charlottetown.
Île Enchantée hired their tenth worker in October, and there are two substitutes.
The centre runs a day care and a pre-school and after school program for children ages 5 to 12. It has the capacity to look after 50 children and is open 7:30 am to 5:30 pm, Monday to Friday.
“There is a big need for substitutes and full-time employees,” says Adina Nault. “We look for applicants who have a volunteer background working with children at home, at school or in the community, whether it is in child care or tutoring.
“Every day, we plan activities and document every learning opportunity that child has had. We also look after the emotional needs of the child and daily routines like snack time and nap time.”
Adina says Île Enchantée is willing to accommodate staff’s work schedules so they can go to school during the day. The centre may also help finance their employees’ efforts to earn a two-year early childhood education diploma. “I went back for upgrading a few years ago and found it was worth it. I took what I learned in the night classes and applied it to the centre each day.”
For more information about Île Enchantée, call 902-368-1895.
Early Childhood Education
L’Association des Centres de la Petite Enfance Francophones represents six early childhood education centres across PEI. The centres look after the education, basic care and social needs of children up to age five.
“Eighty-five percent of a child’s brain develops by age 5, says Kathleen Couture. “We get to teach them, nurture them and meet their needs. It’s a rewarding profession to see the children grow. It has been proven that children who started at early years centres will be successful students from kindergarten to grade 12 and post-secondary education.”
In August, the federal and provincial governments announced a three-year, $10.5 million investment into more early learning and child care spaces and professional development for Early Childhood Educators.
The Association Des Centres de la Petite Enfance Francophones currently needs at least 12 educators to meet demand.
“Early childhood education is an exciting place to be. Both French and English centres are looking for people to work year-round as trained early years educators, substitutes, special needs assistants, and cooks. Some programs may allow untrained workers to come in. We will help with Level One training.
“Aspiring Early Childhood Educators start with Level One training, which is three university or college level core courses. They are encouraged to go on to a two-year diploma program. The association works with staff to achieve that goal.”
For more information about PEI’s French-speaking Early Childhood Education Centres, call 902-439-5948. Visit la Fédération des parents de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard (FPÎPÉ) at https://fpipe.org/.
BioVectra Inc., Charlottetown
BioVectra is a contract manufacturing company that makes the active pharmaceutical ingredients for drug products.
“We reverse engineer products to make generic drugs on contract for other firms,” says Trevor Morash. “We are also contracted out by other companies to scale up their production. “Our research and development department is expanding. With expansion comes new equipment, new rooms, new manufacturing, and the need for more staff. Our challenge is finding the right fit for the positions available.
“Quality control is incredibly important to our company. The products we make are used by humans, so everything that comes in our doors and everything that goes out is quality tested.
“Our QC team of 35 people makes sure standard operating procedures are being followed, and they work closely with our clients’ needs.”
“We are a global company, and we require all fields of experience. Our priority is process manufacturing, and in order to support that department, we need Production Staff, Engineers and Maintenance, Quality Control, Quality Assurance, Regulatory, Research and Development, Sales and Marketing, Human Resources, and Finance.
“Our primary focus now is hiring for jobs for our plant in Windsor, Nova Scotia, which is 30 minutes from Halifax. A number of staff at our Charlottetown location are originally from Nova Scotia and want to move back, which may open some positions on PEI.
“We are looking for people with a BSc in Chemistry, as well as Engineers. We just built a new storage facility, so the need to fill shipping/receiving positions may become available. Our Quality Control and Production departments typically have some entry level positions as well.”
“We hire people from a wide variety of industries, not just the science field. For most of our positions, the skills and experience you have acquired can be transferred to bioscience. For instance, for people with Quality Control and Quality Assurance experience, the things you don’t know we can teach you, because experience and talent are so valuable to us.
“We are constantly looking for people with transferrable skills. We look for people who have worked with standard operating procedures, CGMP, or food manufacturing. If an applicant has experience in another field where standard operating procedures are followed, some of those skills can be transferrable.
“It is very rare, except for some directors or management positions, where the open position requires a specific number of years of pharmaceutical experience. Pharmaceutical experience is an asset, but other types of QC or QA experience are also valuable.
“Read the job description and the job duties very carefully, and then see if those fit with your own skills and experience.”
Best way to get your foot in the door
“People looking to work with us should consider becoming certified in CGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practices), which is part of every aspect of our operation. It’s not common to find people with experience working with CGMP, but if you do some research and can describe the basics during the interview process, that is very valuable. Present yourself as a person willing to work under those regulations.”
How to apply
“Check the job vacancies on the company website and apply there. If you make it to an interview and if you are not hired for the role you applied for, we keep resumés on file in case another opportunity comes up. It helps you get into the system.”
“Sometimes I receive as many as 60 resumés, and I spend about three minutes on each one. I look at the job description and check each resumé to see how closely the skills, education, and experience match. Then I read the cover letters and make a decision. I choose just 12 to give to the Hiring Manager, and we interview five to seven people for each job.”
For more information, visit www.biovectra.com and click careers.
December/January 2018 Issue
Pages 2 & 3
by Stacy Dunn, Gloria Welton, Stella Sheppard & Heidi Riley