Training & Education
Confederation College joins Hydro One’s College Consortium
By Anthony Capkun
January 22, 2014 – Hydro One announced funding for new outreach and pre-apprentice programs with Confederation College (Thunder Bay, Ont.) that will be designed to provide training to students interested in applying to a trade in the electrical utility sector.
“With proposed future development in Northern Ontario, Hydro One along with Confederation College saw the opportunity to help develop a relevant training program to ensure that the skills required in the future are available locally,” said Carmine Marcello, president and CEO of Hydro One.
The $750,000-investment will focus on youth, First Nations and Métis communities and, in conjunction with Northern College, the program will help build local trades capacity across Northern Ontario.
In 2007, the Hydro One College Consortium was created in partnership with Algonquin, Georgian, Mohawk and Northern Colleges, explains the utility. The funding provided for this program supports scholarships, curriculum development, co-op placements and equipment to educate the next generation of energy professionals. With up to 36% of Hydro One’s workforce eligible to retire in the next five years, promoting careers in the utility sector is a timely initiative.
“This is an incredible partnership opportunity for Confederation College and Hydro One,” said Jim Madder, Confederation president. “Hydro One will be able to hire the skilled trades they need in the coming years, and hire them locally from communities throughout the region. Our technology students will know that, when they graduate, there will be jobs available.”
This partnership complements Hydro One’s College Consortium by extending the geographic coverage across Northern Ontario, explains the utility. Hydro One, Confederation College and Northern College will work together on outreach and skills training.
“Our government will be making significant investments in transmission infrastructure in Northwestern Ontario in the very near future,” said Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan. “This investment will require a large workforce of skilled men and women to get the work done.”
Enrolment and graduation rates from electrical engineering technician and technology programs have doubled at Algonquin, Georgian, Mohawk and Northern since the partnership began, and Hydro One has hired over 250 students for work placements for its four main technology streams.