Creating a Better Life in PEI: Sufian Chowdhury
Sufian first arrived in Canada in 2013 as an Electronics Engineering student at Seneca College in Toronto, Ontario. Originally from Bangladesh, Sufian had left home to find education and employment opportunities in order to create a better life. After graduating and gaining some work experience, he returned home to marry his fiancé, Tasnuva, and apply to have her join him in Canada.
While researching a place to settle in Canada, Sufian and Tasnuva wanted to find a place they could call home with an excellent work/life balance – a place that also offered a safe and welcoming community to raise a family. Family and friends who had visited PEI encouraged them to consider Prince Edward Island.
"PEI has a slower pace. It isn’t all about making money here," explains Sufian, "My home life is just as important as my work life. Here I can come home from work, eat with my family, and get a good rest. I can even go to the beach right after work!"
When they arrived on PEI in May 2018, they immediately began looking for employment.
"I discovered the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada (PEIANC)," says Sufian, "and I registered with its Employment Assistance Service for Newcomers to help me find a career. I had worked with other employment services in Ontario, but PEIANC was the only agency that really helped me understand what employers were looking for and helped connect me with appropriate opportunities based upon my training and career needs. Their staff were very professional and thorough in their help."
Hannah Jones, Employment Counsellor with PEIANC, worked with Sufian to help him find a job.
"I first met with Sufian and his wife in mid-June 2018," says Hannah. "I helped him secure a work placement with LP Electronics. The owner, Leo-Paul Arsenault, had been operating a location in Wellington for some time. However, he was having difficulty sourcing a qualified staff member who had electronics and customer service capabilities for their new branch location in Charlottetown."
Working with Sufian and Leo-Paul, Hannah helped secure a 52 week 50% wage subsidy for Sufian through the Skills PEI Graduate Mentorship Program. In early July 2018 Sufian began working at the new location in Charlottetown.
"Today I am managing the Charlottetown location. I provide face-to-face customer service, handle sales and cash, diagnose and make repairs to stereos, TVs and other electronics," states Sufian, "I am also continuing with on-the-job training working with a Senior Technician out of the Wellington location. I look forward to helping LP Electronics grow."
As Sufian and Tasnuva get settled on PEI, they feel they have found a place to put down roots.
"PEI feels like home to me and my wife," Sufian explains, "Whenever we visit places off the island, on the bridge on our return, seeing the lights of PEI always makes us feel like we are coming home."