Harland's Success Story

Harland MachaconHarland Machacon is from the Philippines, where he worked as an engineer for over 20 years. He recently moved to the Niagara Region with his wife and daughter, who both worked in the healthcare field and wanted to continue their careers in Canada.

At first, Harland and his family planned to move to the Toronto area because they thought it would be the easiest place to find job opportunities. However, Harland heard about Niagara from a classmate, and after learning about its peaceful and quiet communities, settled with his family in the community of St. Catharines.

Harland was initially concerned that he might not be able to find employment in his field. Although he had worked extensively as an engineer in the Philippines, he would need to get professional designation and approval to work in Canada because engineering is a regulated profession.

Working with the Niagara Immigrant Employment Council, which connects immigrants looking for work to support services, Harland was introduced to a mentor. This mentor helped him through the process of receiving accreditation and making sure he could work in his field in Canada. He received on-the-job experience and successfully completed the accreditation process. Harland now works full-time as an engineer in the automotive industry.

Harland and his family really enjoy the Niagara Region. He has a scenic 15-minute commute to work, he and his family have made friends through faith-based groups, and they all take pleasure in the close-knit community they call home. Particularly important is the work/life balance that Niagara affords them. They plan to stay in Niagara for the foreseeable future.

Asked for his advice for other newcomers thinking about moving to Niagara, Harland recommended connecting with support services like the NIEC, which gave him his real break in finding a job. He also suggests newcomers find faith-based and other social groups to help make the transition into everyday Niagara life more seamless.

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