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September 11, 2012

Premier officially opens SAIT’s Trades and Technology Complex

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The Honourable Alison Redford, Premier of Alberta, helped officially open the Trades and Technology Complex at SAIT Polytechnic today as the province works to support the training of skilled workers.

The $400 million complex has the potential capacity for an additional 8,100 full and part-time students each year, focusing on the high demand sectors of energy, construction, and manufacturing and automation. Alberta is facing a looming worker shortage and the provincial government estimates 19,000 people retire each year and by 2021, up to 114,000 people will be needed to fill positions.

The provincial government’s $300 million in funding to support the Trades and Technology Complex is the highest financial support for any college or polytechnic in Alberta.

“We know that investments in education pay huge dividends,” says Premier Alison Redford. “Alberta’s labour force is already considered the best trained and educated in the country and the new Trades and Technology Complex at SAIT will help ensure our workers have the knowledge and skills to keep the province growing.”

With state-of-the-art labs and flexible learning spaces, the Trades and Technology Complex will help SAIT continue to produce the most skilled and relevant graduates for industry. The new Graduate Employment Survey results confirm the industry demand for SAIT grads. Of the SAIT graduates surveyed, 94 per cent are currently employed or have worked for three or more months prior to completing the survey — a one per cent increase from the previous year. Results also indicate that 84 per cent have found training-related employment.

The survey also confirms that SAIT-trained graduates are being employed close to home. Eighty per cent of graduates remained in Calgary and a total of 93 per cent stayed in Alberta.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the official opening of these innovative buildings that will help us deliver the latest in experience-oriented training,” says Irene Lewis, President and CEO of SAIT Polytechnic. “With the economy rebounding, SAIT is well-positioned to meet the demand from industry — and employers know when they hire a SAIT grad, that employee will hit the ground running.”

The federal government, which funded several facilities at SAIT, was also on hand to celebrate the official grand opening of the complex.

“Our Government’s top priority is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” says Michelle Rempel, Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre-North and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “This new facility will pave the way for new economic opportunities by further strengthening Western Canada’s knowledge and skills advantage.”

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