Government of Canada Supports Skills Development and Training for Aboriginal Peoples in Northern Alberta

Government of Canada Supports Skills Development and Training for Aboriginal Peoples in Northern Alberta

by ahnationtalk on June 26, 2015922 Views

June 25, 2015 – Fort McMurray, Alberta – Western Economic Diversification Canada

Today, the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced an investment of $1.5 million to assist Keyano College in the delivery of a Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) training program in Northern Alberta.

The Government of Canada’s funding, through Western Economic Diversification Canada, will go towards the purchase of four mobile simulators and related equipment that will enable Keyano College to train Aboriginal students for careers in Heavy Equipment Operation in remote locations in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

This project, which is also receiving support from the Keyano College Foundation through key industry partner Syncrude, will allow Aboriginal students to pursue training and skills development within their home communities.

Quick Facts

  • Keyano College is a not-for-profit institution that provides post-secondary programs and services for people living in northeastern Alberta. The College is located in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, one of Canada’s fastest growing municipalities.
  • This funding will support the purchase of four mobile simulators that will provide rural and remotely located Aboriginal students with hands-on access to learning.
  • The mobile Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) program will train Aboriginal students in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo as skilled workers; the area contains five First Nations, a tribal council and Métis settlements.
  • It is anticipated over a period of four years, this project will train 145 Aboriginal peoples for high demand HEO careers.


“Our Government’s support will allow for students in remote communities to access the training they need to fully participate in Canada’s growing economy. This investment demonstrates our commitment to working with industry and other local partners to ensure that Aboriginal students acquire the experience necessary to secure quality jobs and build more prosperous communities.”

– The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

“Keyano College extends its sincerest thanks to the Government of Canada and Syncrude for their support on this project. The mobile simulators offer an exciting opportunity to diversify Keyano College programming while meeting the needs of our region’s Aboriginal and rural communities. This Federal funding is an important investment in our students and the sustainability of post-secondary education in Wood Buffalo. Through our industry partners, like Syncrude, we look forward to bringing this new high quality training and skill development initiative to all parts of our region.”

– Dr. Kevin F. Nagel, President and CEO of Keyano College

“Syncrude is pleased to support this project with Keyano College, which is a key partner for us in helping meet our commitment to recruit new employees from the Wood Buffalo region, particularly those from Aboriginal communities. These mobile simulators will help ensure the skills are in place to take advantage of the opportunities available in the oil sands. This is the latest in a long list of investments made by Syncrude in education and training in this region over the past three decades.”

– Mark Ward, CEO, Syncrude Canada

Additional Links


Nicholas Insley
Office of the Minister
Western Economic Diversification
Telephone: 613-954-1042
Email: [email protected]

Matthew Harrison
Director, News and Media Services
Keyano College
Telephone: 780-588-4777
Cell: 780-370-8656
Email: [email protected]

Will Gibson
Media Relations Advisor
Telephone: 780-742-5930
Email: [email protected]


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