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Growing your dream job at Headwaters

Neil began a Facilities career journey that advanced his professional development, while being closer to home.

It’s not every day that a perfect career opportunity comes your way that fits both your family life and your professional development goals. For Neil, Headwaters’ HVAC Technician, the opportunity came when he joined our Facilities team initially as a Maintenance Mechanic. “Before I came to Headwaters, I was a Pipe Fitter. I had a lot of experience in most aspects of the construction world. When I heard that Headwaters was hiring (I was constantly watching the Careers web page), I threw my name in the hat as soon as I could. I wanted to work closer to home, and be able to be part of the community I lived in,” says Neil, whose commute to work is significantly shorter from Shelburne than driving to the GTA daily.  

Joining the team at Headwaters, Neil excelled in his role as Maintenance Mechanic, and was then approached by his Director about exploring a new role and being more involved in the daily operation of the hospital’s plants, such as boilers, water systems and ventilation. The hospital will be upgrading the plant and building automation system replacement, which will require a talented team member to lead the charge. “I jumped at this opportunity because I knew it was going to give me a chance to learn something new, and further expand my knowledge of the systems I was already familiar with.” Headwaters supported Neil through tuition assistance for an advanced training certificate course, which he completed in 2022 - 2023. 

Learning and Development is one of the four pillars of Headwaters’ People Strategy, in addition to the pillars of Talent Management, Health, Wellbeing and Safety; and Culture and Recognition. When describing how this professional development opportunity helped advance his role and career at Headwaters, Neil says, “The certificate course helped fill a lot of gaps I had in my knowledge of how a plant operates. It gave me a really detailed overview of how the equipment works, and how everything should be maintained.” Neil also adds that since he was one of few mature students in his class, he was able to also assist other younger students with his lived professional experience and was awarded a leadership and mentorship award upon graduation.  

“My biggest supports within the hospital would have been the Facilites Department. If I needed anything, they were there for me. The entire team gave me the encouragement and support to complete the course full-time, while still being able to be part of the operations, such as on-call availability,” comments Neil. 

What changes has Neil seen in his own abilities since returning to work in a new role, HVAC Technician with new skills from the professional development opportunity? “Coming back, I have a total understanding of how the plant operates. I am extremely grateful to have been given this opportunity, and all the support from everyone who got me through the past year. I also love that I see people at work in my community as well – it's nice to have that connection. You want to be here.” 

Word of mouth is powerful. Neil first became interested in Headwaters Health Care Centre because his wife worked as an emergency department nurse at the organization. After he joined Headwaters, his mother-in-law learned about part-time opportunities that fit her retirement schedule. All three family members are proudly part of the Headwaters team. 

To learn more about exceptional career opportunities close to home, check out Careers at Headwaters