Local high school students will have two more Dual Credit programs to choose from next year. The Peace Wapiti, Grande Prairie Public and GP Catholic school districts have teamed up with NAIT and industry partners to offer certificates for Oil and Gas Field Production Operator or Water and Wastewater Operator.

CAREERS: The Next Generation Senior Vice President Jerry Heck explains they’ll take online courses over two school years, then paid summer internships.

“Then they go out and spend 8, 10 hours a day with these industry folks, coupling that with the theory so it’s a real hands-on experience and exposure and they get to understand better the theory that they’ve been taking during the course of the year.”

CEO Bernd Manz says Aquatera will be a big part of the work experience.

“So this provides students who have an interest in our industry to be able to receive both the training and the education locally instead of having to go to NAIT in Edmonton… so they’ll be working alongside certified operators; they’ll get a sense to see what it’s actually like to work in our plants, to work in our distribution collection systems.”

Between the two courses there should be room for nearly 35 students, which GP Catholic Superintendent Karl Germann argues need to be highly motivated.

“That wants to work on their own, to a degree, for a period of approximately two years, and it takes a little bit of work, because you’re actually trying to complete college level courses while you’re also completing high school courses. We are going to make sure that we’ve got the right students in the program, but I think it’s a great opportunity for kids.”

Information sessions are being held in regional high schools this week with NAIT and business partners. Parent sessions will also be held.