LLOYDMINSTER, ALBERTA -- (Marketwire) -- 03/14/13 -- Today, the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced Harper Government support towards an initiative that will enhance the heavy oil industry workforce.
A federal investment of $948,450 through Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) will enable Lakeland College to acquire specialized simulators and equipment for its Heavy Oil Operator Technology and Heavy Oil Power Engineer processing programs. These new programs will provide students with the opportunity to gain advanced heavy oil knowledge that is directly relevant to industry, as well as process and operational knowledge of a Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage processing plant.
"Our Government's top priority is job creation and economic growth," said Minister Yelich. "This initiative will help to develop a highly skilled and flexible workforce, while ensuring small- and medium-sized businesses remain competitive in the local and global marketplace."
The heavy oil processing programs are expected to help address the demand for skilled heavy oil processing workers and enable small and medium-sized businesses to have access to highly skilled and qualified graduates. As highly skilled graduates transition into the workplace, business efficiency and productivity will improve as additional training upon employment will be significantly reduced, lowering overhead costs.
"We are very grateful for the financial support from the WD," said Glenn Charlesworth, Lakeland College President. "From Lakeland's perspective, the demand for energy-related training - one of our four program pillars - is evident in our enrolment numbers. For example, in November of last year, the Heavy Oil Operations Technician and Heavy Oil Power Engineering programs both had lengthy waitlists of people wanting to start classes in the fall of 2013. Right now, there are also waitlists for programs starting in 2014. WD's funding could not have come at a better time."
Since 2006, the Harper Government, through WD, has invested in job-creating small- and medium-sized businesses, aerospace, marine and defence industries, and supported innovative entrepreneurs in pursuing emerging markets. By continuing to promote new economic opportunities WD is helping to create jobs, economic growth, and long-term prosperity.
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Office of the Minister
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Director, Energy, Entrepreneurship
and Aboriginal Programming
WD Toll-Free Number: 1-888-338-WEST (9378)
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-877-303-3388
Website: WD is online at www.wd-deo.gc.ca
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