Terri-Jane Yuzda


Branch Professionals Keep Busy in Growing Economy

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.

More Volunteers
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.

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