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SAIT and Cenovus – a decade long partnership

SAIT and Cenovus – a decade long partnership
The Oddfellows building.

October 2020 – Cenovus Energy and SAIT have been partners for the better part of a decade - and seen a lot of changes during that time - but their mutual dedication to supporting students and developing skills is constant.

“Through our community investment program, Cenovus invests in organizations to increase education levels and build skills in communities where we live and work,” explains Jessica Yarnell, Senior Community Programs Advisor. “Through the partnership with SAIT, we have been able to provide multifaceted support for Calgarians to contribute to the workforce – in Power Engineering, the School of Public Health and Safety and now through the School for Advanced Digital Technology.”

Students practice on high fidelity manikins
Students practice on high fidelity manikins.

In 2012, the partnership began with a $3 million donation by Cenovus toward the new Trades and Technology Complex at SAIT. From that initial donation, the Cenovus Energy Centre was created as one of three buildings that make up SAIT’s Trades and Technology Complex – a 740,000-square-foot complex featuring state-of-the-art labs and classrooms. The complex houses the MacPhail School of Energy, the School of Construction, and the School of Manufacturing and Automation.

“Initially, our investment was focused on supporting trades in the oil and natural gas industry and over the last eight years, as a result of our partnership, approximately 1,300 full time students have graduated from programs supported by Cenovus Energy Centre,” says Leanne Courchesne, Group Lead of Cenovus Community Investment. “But the partnership has always been about supporting students and developing skills in the community, so we are happy to support SAIT in other ways.”

For example, high-tech manikins are vital to the education of paramedics, respiratory therapists and other healthcare professionals training at SAIT. When the current high-tech manikins became outdated and worn, Cenovus donated towards the purchase of new manikins to help students continue to learn by replicating real-life scenarios. We are proud to support our frontline workers and ensure they have access to quality training – especially now when public health is top-of-mind globally.

And now, as part of our ongoing partnership, SAIT is sub-leasing the Oddfellows building, with an in-kind gift of furniture and AV equipment, to house their new School for Advanced Digital Technology.

“We’re excited to support this initiative by having reached a mutually beneficial sub-leasing agreement that provides SAIT with a unique and inspiring space for its new venture,” says Ian Enright, Cenovus Vice President and Chief Information Officer. “I will also be pitching in on the school’s steering committee, helping to further SAIT’s role in supporting the quickly evolving and exciting world of digital technology.”