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Portage College launches new program with Imperial Oil for power engineers

Mandy Watters and Nathan Froning

Mandy Watters and Nathan Froning

Portage College has launched a new pilot program with Imperial Oil Resources to train third-class power engineers to help meet a growing energy industry need in the region.

Under the program, Imperial will second one of its employees to teach the program, which is scheduled to start in February 2013. The company will also provide 10 students with steam-time placements at its Cold Lake operations to assist them in meeting the requirements of the third-class power engineering accreditation.

“As the oil and gas industry continues to increase its activity in the Cold Lake and Bonnyville region, there is a growing need for skilled workers such as power engineers,” said Larry Lyons, Portage College’s Power Engineering Program Coordinator. “In the past, students wanting to take 3rd class power engineering were required to relocate to Lac La Biche. This program will provide the opportunity for students in the Cold Lake area to complete their studies while remaining in their own local communities.”

“By supporting initiatives like the Power Partnership we are helping to meet an important community need,” said Paul Leonard, Imperial’s Cold Lake operations manager. “That’s good for the students, the broader community and good for Imperial.”

Power engineers work in many facets of oil and gas operations. They operate and maintain specialized equipment and ensure oil and gas facilities are functioning in a safe and efficient manner. Current training programs for this certification in the region have been operating at capacity.

Students participate in classes between February and April, followed by a steam-time placement before returning to the classroom to complete the training.

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