Big Investments Fuel McMurray – and the Country

Branch Chair

The oilsands industry is the main driver of Alberta’s economy – and of the whole country. About $22 billion in capital has already been spent in the region on new and sustaining projects during the 1996-2002 period. A further $50 billion investment is planned in near future.

As a result, the Fort McMurray area is growing rapidly. APEGGA members based here play an important role in supporting the oilsands and the escalating infrastructure requirements of a growing society.

The current membership indicates that there are over 700 APEGGA members employed in the Fort McMurray area. Our branch activities are planned to meet the varying needs of our members, in alignment with the overall goals of APEGGA.

Our annual event planning session focused on three main categories:
• To enhance the image of the professions in the community
• To promote science and technology in local schools and industries
• To provide continuous professional development opportunities to our members.

To this end, the list of this year’s planned activities includes participation in local trade shows and joint events with other professional organizations; and Science Olympics, Science Festival, Teacher Awards Program, Student Awards Program, CPD Seminar and M.I.T. Seminar.

As part of the Outreach program, the branch participated in the Science Olympics and Lego Challenge organized by the Oil Sands Discovery Centre. Several members volunteered for these events. This was a great opportunity for the branch to interact with students from various schools and members of the community.

The M.I.T. Seminar scheduled for October 2004 is mainly focused on members in training, new members and those who are in the process of getting registered. The objective of the seminar is to create better awareness of the requirement of registration and to provide insight into the importance of professionalism and ethics.

In coordination with the APEGGA head office, the branch participates in the Oil Sands Trade Show held in the city every year in September. The trade show provides exposure of APEGGA to all people involved with the oilsands industry. This is an opportunity to meet with members and non-members, to answer questions that members may have and to have a face-to-face interaction.

APEGGA and the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, Fort McMurray branches, jointly sponsored a students’ night on May 20 at the Oil Sands Discovery Centre. The objective of this night is to provide an opportunity for university students in engineering and geosciences to interact with professional members.

CIM Distinguished Lecturer Dr. David Wilkinson, presented on Material Development and the 21st Century Automobile, which was very interesting and well received. About 25 students from various disciplines who are working at the oilsands plants attended the students’ night.

Due to the fast growth of the community and influx of new members, reaching out and getting the message across to all members is a continuing challenge. Our local branch executive is making every effort to meet that challenge head on.

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