May 5, 2003
The following story was written by Dave MacLean, from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. After 26 years in the Cape Breton mines, Dave finally lands his dream job. This story is based on an interview with Dave by The East Coast Reader, a plain language newspaper in Nova Scotia.
Dave MacLean has loved trucks for as long as he can remember. «I've always been fascinated by trucks,» he says. «When I worked in the mines I'd watch the trucks going down the road. I'd think, «I'd love to drive one of those».
It's a good thing he loves trucks so much because Dave is now a full-time truck-driver ! After 26 years working in the mines, the 46-year-old from Glace Bay has a whole new career.
Dave's story is very inspiring. Like many family members before him, he left school early, took an electrical course and went to work in the mines for Cape Breton Development Corporation (Devco). «It was a good job and I enjoyed it,» says Dave who worked as a mine electrician and later as a pump mechanic.
When the mines finally closed a few years ago, Dave had to decide what he wanted to do. «I was too young to sit around and do nothing,» he says. «But I had been out of school for 30 years.»
The first step, Dave decided, was to get his GED. He enrolled in the course for displaced workers that had been organized by Devco and graduated in December 2000. Then, it was on to trucking school and the fulfillment of his dream. He enrolled in the 12-week, class-one truck and trailer cource at the Millenium Driving and Safety Academy in Halifax and graduated with the highest marks of the school!
These days, Dave spends up to six days on the road, driving between Nova Scotia and South Carolina. Being away from home so much can be hard, but Dave says you get used to it. «I was home every night when I worked in the mine. It's hard to get used to the days and weeks on the road,» he says.
The most important thing, Dave says, is that he was able to follow his dream of being a truck driver. «My dream was to be a trucker and the opportunity came along, although not in the way I wanted it. I have no regrets.»
[This story was taken with permission, from The East Coast Reader, August-September 2002.]