MAPLE CREEK, SK – Great Plains College, SaskPower and Nekaneet First Nation were proud to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that promises a partnership that will bring a new Class Five Power Engineering educational opportunity to students at Great Plains College Maple Creek Program Centre.
The newly signed agreement marks the start of the process to add Class 5 Power Engineering courses to the college’s current Adult Basic Education offerings. The new pathway program will allow students to complete their grade 12 education, while also completing the courses and steam-time requirements needed to write the Class Five Power Engineering exam and obtain a Fifth Class Power Engineering license.
“One of the priorities in our Adult Basic Education programs is to provide students with quality education, workplace skills and industry connections for employment opportunities, so this new program really fits the bill for all of those elements,” said David Keast, President & CEO at Great Plains College. “Our Maple Creek Program Centre student body is approximately 90 per cent Indigenous, many from Nekaneet First Nation, so we are proud to provide a pathway for more Indigenous students to complete their Grade 12 while taking their first steps in a power engineering career.”
The proposed program will be open to the college’s Adult Basic Education students and will include two credit courses delivered through a combination of online and in-class learning, safety ticket acquisition and two weekends of hands-on experience: one in SaskPower’s mobile power engineering lab and one at SaskPower’s Chinook Power Station.
“SaskPower is committed to Indigenous employment and is always looking for new ways to provide education, training and employment opportunities for our Indigenous partners,” said Howard Matthews, Vice President of Power Production with SaskPower. “We’ve been working with Nekaneet First Nation for quite some time and we are proud to be involved in this new partnership that will assist students in earning their qualifying steam time for a Class Five Power Engineering license through the course-required hands-on experience.”
“In today’s world, young people need a bit of a push to be good citizens,” explained Nekaneet First Nation Chief Alvin Francis. “I’d like to thank SaskPower and Great Plains College for participating in this MOU—it means a lot. My hope is that once our youth are trained and employed in this field, they will become role models for others to follow.”
The course materials for the two credit courses, Power Engineering 20L and 30L, are being provided from Prairie South School Division, who has seen tremendous success by students participating in the online offering.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Amy Masse, marketing & communications coordinator
Great Plains College
Cell: (306) 737-6107