May 24, 2024

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The Alberta authorities is investing $9.2 million into upkeep and program expansions at Keyano School. The funding is required to coach employees in high-demand fields, however provincial and neighborhood leaders hope related investments throughout rural Alberta will encourage younger individuals to study and work of their residence communities.

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“I used to be at Alberta Municipalities final week and this got here up over and time and again: How will we preserve our youngsters and youth in our communities?” stated Rajan Sawhney, Alberta’s minister of superior schooling, at a Monday press convention at Keyano School. “Studying near residence is a gigantic profit to native communities and the economic system proper throughout Alberta.”

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The $9.2 million is a part of a $50-million program that features Athabasca College, Northern Lakes School and Portage School. Sawhney visited Keyano on Monday to announce the funding.

About $6.9 million goes in the direction of changing HVAC items at Keyano. Apprenticeship packages are getting $1.2 million in help. The faculty’s nursing and first care paramedic packages will get 93 new seats from $1.1 million in funding.

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A separate $12.4 million program to create 2,000 new apprenticeship seats in Alberta may even embody Keyano, stated Sawhney.

Don Scott, Keyano board chair, stated encouraging younger individuals to remain locally is a typical concern amongst employers and households. Scott served as superior schooling minister below the late premier Jim Prentice. He’s additionally a former councillor and mayor for the Regional Municipality of Wooden Buffalo.

“After I’ve been across the doorways, I’m certain each different politician on this neighborhood can attest that’s it’s one of many massive points right here,” stated Scott in an interview. “They need their college students to stay in Fort McMurray.”

Notay stated in an interview after the press convention there are roughly 2,500 college students enrolled on the faculty, which is roughly what Keyano School had simply earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic. He’s anticipating 3,500 college students within the close to future.

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He additionally estimates greater than half of youth graduating highschool in upcoming years will go away Fort McMurray. Notay says this pattern was ongoing lengthy earlier than the pandemic or the 2016 Horse River Wildfire.

“That is one thing that may be a critical concern of ours,” stated Notay.

The faculty has responded by including or modifying 18 packages as a part of what Notay calls “progress mode.” There are additionally joint packages with universities. Sawhney stated she has been assembly with Notay and the faculty’s board of administrators to debate funding for different packages at Keyano.

“What I’m listening to at the moment is a need that college students have an possibility right here in Fort McMurray,” stated Sawhney in an interview. “There’s a rising demand and trade is focused on having extra programming as properly.”

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