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Keyano will get $9.2M from province as school tries holding youth in Fort McMurray

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The Alberta authorities is investing $9.2 million into upkeep and program expansions at Keyano School. The funding is required to coach staff in high-demand fields, however provincial and neighborhood leaders hope comparable investments throughout rural Alberta will encourage younger individuals to be taught and work of their dwelling communities.

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“I used to be at Alberta Municipalities final week and this got here up over and over and over: How will we preserve our youngsters and youth in our communities?” mentioned Rajan Sawhney, Alberta’s minister of superior training, at a Monday press convention at Keyano School. “Studying near dwelling is a gigantic profit to native communities and the economic system proper throughout Alberta.”

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The $9.2 million is a part of a $50-million program that features Athabasca College, Northern Lakes School and Portage School. Sawhney visited Keyano on Monday to announce the funding.

About $6.9 million goes in direction of changing HVAC models at Keyano. Apprenticeship applications are getting $1.2 million in help. The faculty’s nursing and first care paramedic applications will get 93 new seats from $1.1 million in funding.

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A separate $12.4 million program to create 2,000 new apprenticeship seats in Alberta will even embrace Keyano, mentioned Sawhney.

Don Scott, Keyano board chair, mentioned encouraging younger individuals to remain locally is a standard concern amongst employers and households. Scott served as superior training minister underneath the late premier Jim Prentice. He’s additionally a former councillor and mayor for the Regional Municipality of Wooden Buffalo.

“Once I’ve been across the doorways, I’m certain each different politician on this neighborhood can attest that’s it’s one of many huge points right here,” mentioned Scott in an interview. “They need their college students to stay in Fort McMurray.”

Notay mentioned in an interview after the press convention there are roughly 2,500 college students enrolled on the school, which is roughly what Keyano School had simply earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic. He’s anticipating 3,500 college students within the close to future.

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He additionally estimates greater than half of youth graduating highschool in upcoming years will depart Fort McMurray. Notay says this pattern was ongoing lengthy earlier than the pandemic or the 2016 Horse River Wildfire.

“That is one thing that may be a critical concern of ours,” mentioned Notay.

The faculty has responded by including or modifying 18 applications as a part of what Notay calls “development mode.” There are additionally joint applications with universities. Sawhney mentioned she has been assembly with Notay and the faculty’s board of administrators to debate funding for different applications at Keyano.

“What I’m listening to at the moment is a need that college students have an choice right here in Fort McMurray,” mentioned Sawhney in an interview. “There’s a rising demand and business is fascinated about having extra programming as effectively.”

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