BY BLAIR BOUDREAU, P.ENG. - Include AR
Central Alberta Branch Chair
Growth and diversity have been the main characteristics of
the Central Alberta economy for the past several years. This
in turn has offered local APEGGA members a broad range of
challenging opportunities. While major construction projects
by NOVA Chemicals, BP Chemicals Canada and DOW Chemicals Canada
have been the most visible in the area they are but only a
few of the many companies locating or expanding in the area
due to Central Alberta's favourable location, competitive
market conditions and a talented workforce.
Growth here has been impressive on all fronts: commercial,
industrial and retail. And that is reflected in the activity
and membership the Central Alberta branch, which extends to
both provincial borders and has more than 600 APEGGA members.
Over the past year the diversity of the area has allowed the
branch to arrange an interesting variety of tours for the
local membership. Branch tours have included: Collicut Hanover's
new manufacturing facility; Eagle Marine's aluminum boat manufacturing
facility; the Collicut Centre, Red Deer's new community recreational
facility; and the Red Deer college expansion.
Many Branch Offerings
Offering a broad range of activities to meet the needs and
interests of the membership continued to be the focus of the
Central Alberta Branch in 2001/2002. We did our best to help
meet members' professional development needs. For the fourth
year in a row we were able to offer a Continuing Professional
Development Day. This day-long session has consistently brought
high calibre instruction to the area.
To build on our commitment to professional development the
branch conducted a membership survey to gauge the interest
in masters level courses if they were offered locally. The
response was very favorable for such an initiative and as
a result, Red Deer College has decided to further investigate
the feasibility of coordinating a local MBA program. Local
members should stay tuned for future developments.
The number of branch volunteers continued to grow, allowing
us to build on our strong local Student Outreach Program.
APEGGA volunteers participated in many classroom outreach
events, career fairs and science fairs. The branch has also
been able to build on its strong links with the Engineering
Faculty at Red Deer College. Local engineers participate in
many classroom events to either discuss their careers or provide
constructive feedback on design projects.
Near the end of the school year the branch hosts our annual
Student Awards Night in order to recognize first year students'
winning design projects, as well as to allow students to meet
informally with local members.
Dinner Events Held
Dinner events over the past year included: The Vehicle of
the Future, which provided practical insight into the constraints
and challenges for the future of transportation; and Light
Up the World, which highlighted one team's effort to bring
cost effective artificial light to remote, Third World locations.
The branch was also fortunate to once again host another successful
President's Visit early in the new year. Dale Miller, P.Eng.,
the then-president of the Association, discussed APEGGA relevancy
with the local membership.
Thanks to the Central Alberta Branch Executive and all the
volunteers, it's been another very successful year in our
part of the province.