FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EDMONTON, AB, February 26th, 2020 – API has signed a memorandum of understanding with NAIT that paves the way for students to gain critical industry experience and provide support for Alberta’s growing life sciences industry. NAIT is a leading polytechnic in Alberta and Canada and provides quality skilled labour to serve numerous sectors, including the life sciences. API provides the necessary bridge for these students to gain hands-on work experiences, mentored by industry experts and service professionals, and at the same time attracts investment to Alberta creating new jobs for these interns to apply for upon graduation.
“There are very few other potential industries for diversification of Alberta’s economy that check as many boxes as drug development and manufacturing,” says API CEO, Andrew MacIsaac. “The sector is heavily reliant on many of the same sources of labour as oil and gas, from a plethora of trades jobs to skilled engineers, chemists, and more. The industry also provides a real-world application of the province’s other strengths such as artificial intelligence and health research.”
By attracting investment and creating jobs in life sciences, API is working to grow this high-potential sector, and has already brought in over $30 million in projects across the province.
“NAIT is excited about the possibilities that stem from a partnership with API and helping to grow drug development and manufacturing in Alberta’s life sciences sector,” says Stewart Cook, Dean of the School of Applied Sciences and Technology at NAIT. “Our collaboration will create new career opportunities for NAIT students, who are highly skilled and eager to prove their knowledge, while promoting economic growth for the benefit of all Albertans.”
“We see NAIT as a key partner in this endeavor,” says Andrew. “We are excited to gain access to their skilled students, while helping Alberta as a whole gain important capacity.” Both partners are dedicated to training skilled professionals for the life sciences sector. Through collaboration, they will create an end-to-end system that employs Alberta graduates at home.
API has begun the process of bringing an initial cohort of NAIT students onto current API projects and is exploring options to greatly expand the program in the coming months as well as develop similar projects in Calgary and Lethbridge.
“It’s no coincidence that companies such as Gilead have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the province – it speaks to our strengths,” says Andrew “As the sector grows, more and more of our talent will be able to pivot from energy to drug development and manufacturing. There are even strong synergies in the inputs as pharmaceutical manufacturing relies heavily on petrochemicals. While $60 a barrel oil continues to impact the province’s economic health, exporting our natural resources at a highly value added $60 a pill could be just the medicine we need.”