CTEC – Empowering Innovative Learning – Partnering for a brighter future

Myrnam’s new CTEC is a unique facility. CTEC stands for Construction and Technology Education Centre.  Our exciting partnership with St. Paul Education is offering area students a special opportunity for creative learning in Eco Sciences and green building in a facility designed to maximize these innovative educational opportunities. It is hoped that in doing so, many students will opt to attend higher education institutions like Lakeland College or NAIT enrolling in these exciting fields.  Their prime focus is to instruct, implement and expand green learning to serve as a catalyst for the building trades and advancing green technologies for Junior high and High school students. However, the Village also recognizes the timely and critical role CTEC can play with displaced, unskilled, unemployed or underemployed youth and workers in our region. As a Village, our focus is this second group of individuals and why we are applying for this independent grant separate from St. Paul Education. A large cohort of youth in our region are from recent immigrant families of German Mennonite descent.

They have good general building skills and agribusiness desires but often lack formal education. Many other workers have been impacted by the severe downturn in the regional oil industry. Both can benefit greatly from the practical hands-on programs being designed at CTEC improving employability and future education options if desired. That is why our project is focusing on several key components;

  1. Ensuring we have the necessary demonstration and instructional equipment to enhance practical learning
  2. Developing Key partnerships with existing Alberta Based green technology organizations to deliver a broad based training portfolio in on-site classroom settings followed by applied learning through actual implementation of systems
  3. Enhancing the certification and training of local staff to deliver flexible programs on an ongoing cost-effective basis
  4. Actual construction of needed facilities utilizing green building technologies. In addition to offering online instruction, we plan to use CTEC to both provide on-site classroom instruction and practical construction of assorted buildings showcasing this technology.

The workers will be able to assist in the design, material selection and installation and maintenance of green technology helped by certified instructors. These buildings will include much needed affordable, innovative and desirable seniors housing or other units which will help promote Village sustainability through ongoing rental and sales revenues. The small business development seminars to be held on site will enhance the existing regional small business workforce by helping train and prepare this group to offer new green technology building and horticultural products and services throughout North East Alberta and beyond. The concept of CTEC is to provide, cost effective, innovative and flexible opportunities for learning and skill development.

We envision using flex-time instructional periods offered in such a manner that attendees can develop these new green building skills while continuing to work, essential for many immigrants who have larger young families at earlier ages. They do not have the capability to easily attend traditional post secondary learning and with our emphasis on also promoting small business development from within CTEC we believe that over time we can encourage both skill and knowledge upgrading and business expansion simultaneously.

Like many rural areas heavy demand exists for acreage lots. Utilizing green building techniques like LEED we feel now is an excellent time to prepare workers for anticipated changes to building codes with a group of workers and customers keen to implement green technology and reduce the carbon footprint in new homes being developed. Our local building inspectors and trades people are keen to hold local weekend and evening workshops about implementing green technologies on the farm, in commercial and residential settings explaining system design, installation methods and available government incentives for transitioning to clean, renewable energy facilities. These are just some of the initiatives we strongly believe will provide increased capacity, shift awareness and actively engage our greater community in renewable energy offerings.