EDMONTON—Ensuring that all people have the opportunity to succeed in Alberta’s workforce is of major importance to NorQuest College’s commitment to Indigenous Peoples, individuals, families, communities, and the province.
Now, a new NorQuest partner has emerged in the drive for employment success, adding to an already-strong commitment of creating diversity among its own workforce. With a $100,000 gift to the Alberta Aboriginal Construction Career Centre (AACCC), Syncrude Canada Ltd. becomes the largest single contributor to date.
“One of Syncrude’s long-held values is ensuring Aboriginal people share in the benefits of developing oil sands,” says Syncrude president and chief executive officer, Mark Ward. “Investing in this centre is one way we can continue to meet that goal.”
Syncrude is a recognized leader in Indigenous relations in Canada. To date, the company has spent about $2.5 billion with indigenous companies and is one of the country’s largest employers of Indigenous people. Syncrude invests around $1 million annually on programs and initiatives to advance education and employment opportunities for Indigenous people.
“To the AACCC, this gift means that Indigenous inclusion to Canada’s labour market is of utmost importance to Alberta’s industry stakeholders,” says AACCC manager, Ruby Littlechild. ”This sponsorship will help better prepare people with the skills needed to take advantage of the opportunities available in Alberta. The Edmonton AACCC has become a key player in training and employment opportunities for Indigenous people in central and northern Alberta.”
While the AACCC is helping to advance employment opportunities of Indigenous people, its mandate is to assist career seekers of all backgrounds and cultures. In March of 2016, just one year into its existence, the AACCC passed a major milestone by assisting 703 clients with their career goals. The original forecast for that time period was to train 150 people. Of those 703 individuals, 22 per cent were female, 76 per cent were of First Nations, Métis, or Inuit descent, and 500 job placements were made. Syncrude joins ATCO Electric/Gas, Northern Gateway Pipelines, JV Driver, and WorleyParsons Canada as sponsors to the AACCC.
About NorQuest College: NorQuest College is the Edmonton region’s only community college serving 11,552 students annually throughout the province in full-time, part-time, distance learning, and regional programs. NorQuest College helps learners with diverse educational backgrounds complete or further their studies through foundational and continuing education programs. Our post-secondary diploma and certificate programs offer career paths in health, community studies, and business. By collaborating with business, industry, government and communities, we ensure our post-secondary education is necessary and workforce relevant. NorQuest College and its students added $421.7 million in income to the Edmonton region’s economy in 2011-2012.