February 27, 2013 - 5:45am

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, February 27, 2013

NANAIMO, BC: Thanks to a grant of $144,000 from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology, VIU will now be the only institution on Vancouver Island where students can get their Fourth Class Power Engineering Certificate.

According to Gilbert Requena, one of the instructors in the new program, there is a high demand for Power Engineers across Canada. There are also large student waiting lists at institutions that currently offer the program.

“If you look at industry job sites, there are always openings for Power Engineers, so graduates of our program will be able to find interesting, well-paid work fairly easily,” says Requena. “It’s a great field to work in as there are opportunities in many different areas. Graduates can work at pulp mills, gas and oil refineries, hospitals and schools – basically any organization where there is high-pressure equipment that needs to be managed or monitored. In fact, some larger organizations such as Dow Chemical require all their employees to have this training.”

The program is being offered because of industry demand. When it was first proposed, more than 10 letters of support were received from industry partners on Vancouver Island who need trained Power Engineers to fill positions.

“We developed this program in close consultation with industry across Vancouver Island and have actually received a commitment from local industry to provide practicum training placements for most of the first class,” said Fred MacDonald, Dean of Trades and Applied Technology.

The program is also being combined with an ‘Introduction to Gas Processing Certificate’. “We thought this would be a good way to give our students an edge, once they complete the program and start applying for work,” says Peter Woodcock, who is also an instructor in the new program.

The program begins March 25th. The first three months will be spent in the classroom. From June to August students will participate in work experience positions before returning to the classroom once again for more theory work, with the graduation date set for the first week in November.

For more information on the program, prerequisites and work opportunities contact Carolyn Eveleigh, Area Secretary, Faculty of Applied Programs Trades & Applied Technology: or 250.740.6149, or visit the [program's website](

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