It’s hours before the sun rises to its full morning glory.
And no rooster would yet dare launch into its wakeup cock-a-doodle-doo.
Yet Dan Bos is already awake and smiling. It’s 4:30 a.m. and Dan is getting ready for the workday.
"I'm one of the luckiest men alive," he thinks to himself, as he fills his thermos with some steaming coffee.
Dan Bos is a man that loves his job, working as a welder at Penta TMR in Petrolia.
But it wasn’t always this way. He worked other odd jobs, including running a restaurant in Bothwell with his wife Monica.
Running a family business was hard, stressful and tiring, he says.
“For 20 years I was never satisfied with my job. I didn’t get up in the morning saying I can’t wait to go to work.”
The long hours they put in had an impact on the family. Despite the fact they made a comfortable living, Dan says their four children were growing up without their parents both being home.
Always the tinkerer and a natural handyman, Dan always had a passion for welding. So when a job opened up at Penta, he took the plunge.
Every day he makes the 30-minute drive from their Bothwell-area home to the Petrolia factory that produces upright feed mixers for the cattle industry.
“There’s just something about fusing two pieces of metal together using heat,” he says. “I have my dream job.”
During a chance meeting at a gas station with an old high school friend Dan learned about services that could help him earn his welding ticket.
An employment consultant with Lambton College’s Employment and Learning Centre in Petrolia discussed with Dan how the centre could help Dan earn his welding ticket through a fully accredited training program.
“Welders are a dime a dozen,” Dan says, “but ticketed welders are not.
“It took me 20 years to find this job. A light went on in my head.”
Dan can’t say enough good things about his work or his employer. And, he can’t envision ever working anyplace else. So he approached his boss with the opportunity. The program, they learned, also provides support for employers. Dan’s boss also jumped at the opportunity.
“My work has been so great, my employer so generous,” Dan says.
The program will take about three years to complete and there is minimal investment on part of the employee. Employers can also benefit from tax breaks, subsidies and having a higher-trained worker on staff.
“We offer a full range of services,” says Employment Centre Manager Anne Marie Cosford, including apprenticeship training, job boards and postings, research centres, email accounts, employment consulting and support services and more.
Training incentives are available to employers, including financial wage subsidies for their employees.
“We’re providing job skills to effectively job search in 2011,” Cosford says.
“It’s incredibly rewarding when you get someone like Dan come back and say ‘you’ve really contributed to my success.’”
The centre, located at 4248 Oil Heritage Road in Petrolia, sees between 50-100 clients on any given week.
Funded by Employment Ontario, the centre also provides a number of free services for employers, including job fairs.
“We support employers with some of their HR (human resources) needs,” Cosford says.
Dan began his training in September. After successful completion of three rounds of training he’ll be a fully accredited welder.
“People ask me if I like my job. I tell them no, I love my job.”