Where there's HOOT there's HOPE

By Geoff Lee

August 23, 2016 12:00 AM

Kevin Ma, chair of Energy Programming, was pleased to report there's strong support from the oil and gas industry for energy student practicums that resume in December at the Llloydminster campus.

Heavy Oil Operations Technician (HOOT) and Heavy Oil Power Engineering (HOPE) students can both be found at the Lakeland College Energy Centre at the Lloydminster campus again this fall.
Despite the downturn in the oil and gas sector, the one-year HOOT program is back with a class of 24 and there’s a full slate of 72 HOPE students and a waiting list.
“So far, we are still okay with the HOPE program, the class is still full, but the number of applicants has dropped quite a bit,” said Kevin Ma, chair of energy programming.
First year HOOT classes have been underway since Aug. 15, with second-year HOPE students returning Sept. 6. with two classes of 36 students.
Ma said the demand from the oil and gas industry for the 4th class and 3rd class power engineers that Lakeland produces has dropped a bit from prior years, but other sectors are still hiring.
“All the other ones, pulp and paper and hospitals with power generation, they still need the same amount of power engineers,” he said.
First year energy students start six-week practicums in December, while second year students complete three-month practicums in the summer before challenging provincial exams for their steam tickets.
Ma said what makes Lakeland’s energy practicums standout is the strong support they get from the regional oil and gas sector.
“The support from the oil industry is pretty good especially in this area,” said Ma.
“Because of the oil industry slowdown, I heard lots of other colleges have trouble filling their practicums, but Lloydminster, Lakeland College has support from the oil industry and the hospital.
“The way we are facing the practicum—we are one of the best in the country.”
He went to say Lakeland is probably the only college that fill its practicums.
In related news, Lakeland’s continuing education program has plans to offer online power engineering students up to 200 of steam lab time at the Lloyd campus from October to December.
The night steam lab work at the old Husky Energy Lab will prepare online students to write Alberta Boilers Safety Association or the Technical Safety Authority of Saskatchewan examinations for 4th and 3rd class power engineering tickets.

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