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Boeing partners with Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies to elevate Indigenous education

– Boeing invests $17M CAD in leading aerospace training program

The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) and Boeing announced a $17M CAD investment from the company to advance Indigenous aerospace training and education in Saskatchewan.

The funds will support SIIT’s programs, services and operations focusing on the expansion of the Saskatoon Aviation Learning Centre (SALC) to increase training of aircraft maintenance engineers in the province. With the expansion of this training facility and program offerings, SIIT is working to address the shortage of skilled labour in aerospace with talented Indigenous professionals.

“In 2010, SIIT laid the foundation for what has become a long-standing partnership with Boeing with their initial support of the SALC,” explained Riel Bellegarde, President and CEO of SIIT. “Boeing has demonstrated time and again its commitment to workforce diversification and investment in Indigenous businesses and institutions. This contribution signifies more than just financial support; it represents a pathway to empowerment, employment and economic reconciliation.”

Boeing’s support for SIIT’s initial creation of the SALC laid the foundation for what has become a long-standing partnership, now further strengthened by this new $17M investment.

“With over a century in Canada’s aviation industry, Boeing understands the importance of supporting programs like those offered by SIIT,” said Pierre Ruel, interim managing director of Boeing Canada. “We recognize the urgent need to address the labour shortages impacting our industry. Our partnership with SIIT will not only support their valuable programs but also ensure that Indigenous peoples, who are an integral part of our sector’s future workforce, receive the education and training they need.”

Boeing’s new investment in SIIT comes as a result of the Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) stemming from the Government of Canada’s selection of the P-8A Poseidon as part of the Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft project. Canada’s ITB policy leverages defence procurements to contribute to jobs, innovation and economic growth across the country.

“Creating meaningful opportunities for Indigenous students is key to building a more inclusive and more just society,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “Through Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy, this partnership between SIIT and Boeing will provide Indigenous students with the education and training they need to pursue exciting career opportunities in the aerospace sector. In addition, this partnership will support economic growth in a vital and rapidly growing sector of the Canadian economy.”

The partnership between SIIT and Boeing is instrumental in creating a lasting impact on the educational landscape, fostering growth, and opening doors to new possibilities for Indigenous learners.

“Education and meaningful career opportunities lead to a brighter future,” said Maninder Sidhu, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development. “Today’s investment will provide talented Indigenous youth in Saskatchewan with the training and education they need for an exciting career in an industry which is growing and in great need of their skills.”

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