The government of Alberta announced on Sept. 21, that $2.1 million will be invested in select post-secondary schools in Alberta.
“This is helping our young people develop the skills and competencies that they need in a modern economy,” said the Minister of Advanced Education, Demetrios Nicolaides.
“As our premier has mentioned, our first responsibility as a government is to save lives, and now our responsibility must be to save livelihoods. Under these challenging times, it’s essential that as a government we do everything possible to help strengthen the economic recovery of our province,” he said.
Funding will go to the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Olds College, and Red Deer College, and will be used for 3D printing technologies, clean energy technology, and smart agriculture.
“This is really exciting for us to make sure that our students have those skill sets so they can continue to thrive,” said the Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation Doug Schweitzer.
“Many of our government structures are set up for a traditional economy, in ways now with the emerging and fast-growing companies across Canada and here in Alberta, we have to make sure that our government can keep up with the pace of the industry and make sure we’re developing policy at the pace of business,” he said.
Adding, “This is a big part of that, making sure as well that our advanced education institutions have the tools that they require to keep up with the innovation that’s happening on the ground in the private sector.”
Investing in post-secondary institutions is important to Schweitzer as it gives Albertan’s opportunities.
“I came to Alberta as a young professional, because it was the place of opportunity, it was a place where you could get ahead, it didn’t matter who your parents were, or where you came from, if you came to Alberta you could get ahead because you were willing to work hard and you had that work ethic,” Schweitzer said.
“The younger generation is looking for those exact same opportunities. They want to make sure that their future is not only today in Alberta, but tomorrow is going to be in Alberta as well,” he said.
Although there is uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Schweitzer is hopeful that the investment to post-secondary institutions will give Albertans greater employment opportunities.
“They can have the jobs of tomorrow and those jobs are going to be right here in Alberta because we’re going to continue to make sure we have the best possible environment policy-wise, the best training opportunities, and the best opportunities so they know that Alberta is going to be their long-term home,” Schweitzer said.
“We have an amazing story to tell. This is about making sure we move forward out of this pandemic together, to give our next generation and the current generation of people looking for work opportunities and jobs for the future,” he said.