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Chamber applauds degree status for GPRC

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Its being called a win for the local business community.Just last week Education Minister Merlin Schmidt announced GPRC is on the road to degree granting status.

Grande Prairie Chamber Chair Chris Seppola-Podsada says this is something her group has advocated for for a long time.

“We’re now able to further develop our community and our business community. We did find that when students were leaving they wouldn’t always come back. We want to keep our people here. We want people to come here and work here. We want to be able to educate their families.”

During his announcement education minister Marlin Schmidt says this will cut down on the need to “import talent” to the region. While Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd who lives in Fairview and represents the riding of Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley says she knows first hand what it’s like to have children leave the region to finish school.

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President Don Gantiuk says they were going to focus on the most in demand programs to start. That includes education, science and art programs. Seppola-Podsada says the diversity of programs offered by the college will be beneficial to all industries not just oil and gas.

“This will simply allow us to be able to offer that next level of education to people. And have that opportunity presented to more people who couldn’t go away to college for example.”

When the college will be able to start granting degrees is unknown but planning work is expected to begin right away.

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