(In the photo from left to right is: Janice Giroux, Southeast College Board of Governors Chair; Lori Carr, Minister of Government Relations, Minister Responsible for First Nations, Metis and Northern Affairs, Minister Responsible for the Provincial Capital Commission, MLA for Estevan; Roy Ludwig, Mayor of Estevan. This cheque for $100,000 is from the recently established Provincial Transition Funding Committee for Economic Development. This committee, chaired by Estevan mayor Roy Ludwig, was formed to administer $8 million announced in the fall of 2019 by Premier Scott Moe and Estevan MLA Lori Carr. The intent is to assist in the funding of projects that will offset the effects of coal transition in southeast Saskatchewan.)
The establishment of an industry accredited Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) program has been a long-time goal of Southeast College. The funding will assist in the development of specialized curriculum that will be used to facilitate training and retraining opportunities. The project will also have another unique advantage of supporting the City of Estevan with various infrastructure projects as part of the hands-on practical training for the HEO students.
“There has been a number of provincial projects announced in Saskatchewan recently that will require an increase in experienced and skilled Heavy Equipment Operators in our province,” said Patrick Stoddart, President and CEO of Southeast College. “We are very pleased with the collaboration between the Province and the Southeast Coal Transition Board that has made this funding possible for Southeast College. The funding towards the Heavy Equipment Operator project will help provide key skilled employees to help fulfill this important labour market need.”
Employment estimates in 2019 topped almost 5,300 positions with the future job prospects rated as fair. (Relevance Magazine 2020 – Saskatoon Industry Education Council) Most students interested in this program have to travel out of province to receive this training.
The timeline for completion of the project is March 31, 2021 with the first cohort of Heavy Equipment Operator students starting in April/May 2021. Approximately eighteen to twenty four students per year will benefit from this training with the majority of students relocating to Estevan for the duration of their program.
Southeast College is proud to be the Trainer of Choice in Southeast Saskatchewan. The College offers innovative and flexible programming that encourages students to learn where they live.