Aurora #69 drills training well at new NLSD Trades Exposure Training Centre
Work on the Northern Lights Trades Exposure Training Centre kicked into high gear over the last two weeks as local companies came together to help drill a well on the site. The training drilling rig, Aurora #69, is now ready for students.
“The support we have received from industry for this project has been amazing,” said Board Chair Arlene Hrynyk. “Anytime we have needed something to help us establish the training centre, local companies have stepped up to make it happen. We are very grateful for everything they have done to help us provide these opportunities for our students.”
Northern Lights received a donation of two lots in the northwest end of Bonnyville through the Town of Bonnyville and Hammons Holdings Inc. at the end of the 2014-‐2015 school year. Over the summer, the lots were developed and a scaffolding shop was built on site, with the assistance of R. Batke Oilfield Ltd., which is acting as the general construction manager.
Last week, B&R Eckel’s delivered the centre’s classroom and materials for drilling the well; the service rig (Aurora #69) donated by Ensign arrived on site; and drilling commenced on the well, with services provided by Canadian Natural, Ensign, GMack Oilfield Services, Hallmark, Xtreme Oilfield Technology, Sanjel, Weatherford, R. Batke Oilfield Services, Earth Fluids, and Isley Oilfield Consulting Inc. All of the companies have either donated their time, materials or other services, or offered them at a reduced cost to ensure the project is completed on time and on budget. The establishment of the NLSD Trades Exposure Training Centre is the latest step in the Division’s plan to expand its successful Trades Exposure Program.
A Dual Credit Strategy grant from the College of Alberta School Superintendents and the provincial government kick-‐started the expansion of the program. Last year, NLSD also received a grant from Western Economic Diversification to develop a service rig training facility as well as a 4th Class Power Engineering Program. In conjunction with Coole Immersive, Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors, and Alberta Distance Learning, NLSD developed a 5-‐credit gamified online Orientation to Service Rigs course, which was piloted in NLSD high schools last year, as well as several schools outside the jurisdiction. The gamification of the curriculum is a unique and engaging way to deliver the program and also makes it accessible to any student, no matter how small their school or remote their community. Once work is completed on the Trades Exposure Training Centre, students who complete the online Orientation to Service Rigs course will be able to further their training by gaining hands-‐on experience on a service rig to help prepare them for work after graduation. That training is currently scheduled to be offered to students starting in February 2016. The centre also includes a shop, which will be used to host a new scaffolding program that is currently under development, as well as future trades-‐related programming that is developed as the program continues to grow.
*Press Release from Northern Lights School Division