After six years of living out west gaining experience in their chosen fields, Logan DesRoches and Lisa Enman moved back to PEI from Alberta in April, 2018.
They recently bought their dream home in Victoria West. Logan is a Power Engineer at Acadian Supreme Inc. in Wellington, PEI, and Lisa is self-employed as a professional Photographer.
Logan, originally from Tignish, left home in 2011 and headed to the Alberta oil patch as a Heavy Equipment Operator/Truck Driver. His supervisor asked him to write down three reasons why he was away from home to work. Logan was told to keep the paper in his wallet to review on tough days.
His three goals
- Don’t worry about the small stuff.
- Work towards a career that can be transferred back to PEI.
- Return home to PEI to work and buy a property.
“I began a 20/10 rotation, but the travelling was tough. It wasn’t easy to be away from family and friends,” says Logan. It became easier when Logan’s fiancée Lisa moved to Calgary, which Logan called home on his days off.
Logan worked almost all holidays and saved as much money as he could as he moved towards his goal of becoming a Power Engineer.
In 2014, he enrolled in the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, where he studied for two years and graduated with honors. “I hoped to work in the oil industry before returning home, but the industry collapsed and Power Engineer positions were hard to come by.
“I returned to my old company to work as an operator so I could build the funds I needed to head back to PEI. I worked as many holidays as I could, and banked my pay cheques.
“The Tignish Employment Resource Centre updated me on upcoming positions back home, and helped me apply for a seasonal one-year position,” says Logan. “On Good Friday, Chief Engineer Eric Arsenault from Acadian Supreme called to speak with me.
“We had a lengthy conversation, and I told him about my education, earning my 4th class Power Engineer certificate, and the hands-on troubleshooting experience I gained on different types of equipment. When he offered me the position, I was very excited, and I quickly accepted.
“Most of the goals I carried in my wallet were falling into place,” says Logan. “We sold or donated many of our things, packed up our car, and headed home.
Logan’s position is now full time permanent. “Each day has new challenges, and I never know what to expect,” says Logan. “I look forward to driving to work each day and working with a great bunch of people in Wellington.
“At work, I maintain and monitor the boilers, holding tanks, and refrigeration systems in the facility. These systems cook and hold our lobsters, which are shipped all over the world. I feel I am contributing to the Island fishery and representing Island lobster worldwide.”
Logan also does welding, fabrication, plumbing, electrical, and maintenance. “I’m a jack of all trades,” says Logan. “And I love it all.”
Recently, the final goal was accomplished. Logan and Lisa purchased their dream home in Victoria West, just 10 minutes from Logan’s work, and close to their families.
Advice for anyone hoping to return back to PEI
“Don’t be afraid to try,” says Logan. “No experiences go to waste. Much of the work experience I gained in the oil patch was transferable to my present job.
“Create realistic goals and work towards them. It can be fun to buy new toys like big trucks, but you can achieve more. If you are smart, you too can return home and have a good down payment saved towards a home of your dreams.”
In 2012, Lisa graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in photography. Then she headed west. “My main goal was to gain experience in photography and pay off my student loan, so one day I could move back to PEI with Logan and start my own photography business,” says Lisa.
“I had excellent employment opportunities in Alberta. I created 360-degree visual tours for businesses. This included capturing and stitching various images of businesses and publishing them to Google. I also photographed weddings, private events, and family shots.
“The experience I gained as Manager of a fast-paced downtown bakery gave me excellent customer service and management skills that I now use in my own business.”
Community support on PEI
When Lisa returned to PEI in spring 2018, she visited the Tignish Employment Resource Centre to find out how to start her own business.
She was referred to SkillsPEI in O’Leary and was accepted into the self-employment program.
Self Employ PEI is an employment program developed to help job seekers who want to launch their own business. This program provides financial support and business counselling to new entrepreneurs during their first year of operation.
“This program allows me the financial flexibility to work and establish my business. I now have my own office in my home and I am very pleased with the jobs I have already found.
“I have done work for Mill River Resort and Kids West Family Resource Centre, and I’m presently working for an Island car dealership, doing 360 degree visual tours of their nine locations, which will be featured on Google and social media.
“I joined the West Prince Chamber of Commerce and enjoyed attending some of their events and networking with local chamber members. I want to assist local fisheries, agriculture, and tourism businesses on our beautiful Island by capturing and sharing images of their products and services so they can be searchable on Google and social media such as Facebook.”
“I am happy to speak with interested businesses and individuals across PEI about how my services can promote PEI businesses and provide photography for weddings, engagements, reunions, baptisms, and other important events.”
For more information about Lisa Enman Photography, call 902-960-0695 or email [email protected].
For more about the Self Employ PEI, visit www.skillspei.com/programs-for-job-seekers/self-employ-pei.
For more about Tignish Employment Resource Centre, call 902-882-2498, visit Facebook.