In response to students who are looking to pursue a career in power engineering but unable to commit to full-time student schedule, Medicine Hat College may have the answer. The college has been approved by the Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA) to offer a new power lab course this fall, providing students with the lab training necessary to obtain their 4th class certification.
Students are required to finish a two-part theory component prior to applying to the power lab course which will be offered through MHC’s Continuing Studies department in September. While there are several schools in Alberta that offer the 4th Class Part A and B courses, including SAIT, NAIT and Red Deer College, the challenge for these students comes when trying to complete the required 200 hours of lab training. Demand is high and facilities are limited making it difficult for students to gain the experience they need to write the ABSA 4th class exam.
“There are limited opportunities to obtain firing time which is a significant roadblock for students all over Alberta. This course will allow students to continue working while completing their ‘steam time’, and possibly even draw individuals from other centres in Alberta to attend training on a part-time basis,” said Shannan Hurlbut, Continuing Studies program administrator.
The course will be taught by Joshua Gale, the operations superintendent for the City of Medicine Hat Electric Generation and graduate of MHC’s power engineering program. Gale has enjoyed a successful career in plant engineering and management on both sides of the border with companies like TransAlta, Calpine, and Enmax and brings 14 years of experience and lots of enthusiasm to the job. He returned to Medicine Hat last year and looks forward to his latest challenge of training and mentoring future power engineers.
“The power engineering field is wide open. Industry is looking for a lot more from power engineers than they were 20 or 30 years ago,” said Gale, adding that college is only the first step. “Power engineers will continually need to look for new opportunities and take risks with their careers.”
Continuing Studies, Program Administrator
Medicine Hat College
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