Two additional Montreal high schools are joining an annual scholarship program aimed at promoting employment in the chemical processes sector. In 2009, the Suncor Montreal Refinery, Collège de Maisonneuve and the latter’s Fondation united their efforts to create the program, which is now in four local schools: two Pointe-aux-Trembles high schools and newcomers Calixa-Lavallée High School in Montreal North and Collège St-Jean Vianney, in Pointe-aux-Trembles.
“The industry was in great need of new talent when we started this program and this initiative met its promise. It made it possible for our Montreal Refinery to hire young and bright employees,” says Stéphane Demers, director of operations at the Montreal Refinery, who is also responsible for this program. “Yet we still need to shore up any shortfall in qualified personnel, in order to remedy the shortage of qualified labour experienced by companies in the petrochemicals sector.”
So to help fill that shortage, Suncor, the College and its Foundation decided to open up the annual scholarship program this year to a larger number of students in the east part of Montreal and to promote jobs in the chemical processes sector.
Suncor and the Collège de Maisonneuve met with principals of the high schools joining the program to explain the scholarship program, highlighting that it’s designed to spark the interest of young people who have the passion, drive and curiosity for sciences and chemistry. The principals were impressed by the program's objectives and also by the commitments of Suncor, the College de Maisonneuve and the Fondation du Collège de Maisonneuve to meet and explain the scholarship program to science teachers, students and their parents.
Now funded by the Suncor Energy Foundation, the program covers tuition fees and the cost of books, learning material and safety equipment. In the second year of enrolment in the program, scholarship recipients receive an additional amount toward the purchase of a laptop computer. At the end of the training at Collège de Maisonneuve, Suncor also provides a traineeship at its Montreal refinery. Once studies are completed, those candidates who meet hiring criteria may be invited to join the refinery's ranks. To date, 13 students have been awarded a Suncor scholarship.