SaskEnergy employees provide hands-on learning for high school students

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A Service Technician wearing an orange work shirt kneels next to a gas meter to do work while a student watches.

Thousands of high school students had the chance to learn from SaskEnergy employees about safe digging and damage prevention at two recent job fairs in Moose Jaw and Balgonie.

SaskEnergy attended the Regina District Industry Education Council’s WorkSafe/Try a Career Days through our partnership with the Saskatchewan Common Ground Alliance (SCGA), a member-driven organization that shares SaskEnergy’s commitment to public safety and damage prevention.

“SaskEnergy is a good sponsor and member of the SCGA, and this was a great opportunity to display what goes on in line locating and showing the damaged pipe in the ground that can be caused by simple shovel activity,” says SCGA Executive Director Shannon Doka. 

“One the SCGA’s key initiatives is to get in front of the youth of our province to be sure that they are aware of careers in the industry, as well as making them aware of the importance of safe digging — so we can change that behaviour over time and reduce future damage to buried infrastructure.”  

As Saskatchewan’s natural gas distribution company, SaskEnergy has underground infrastructure spanning more than 87,000 kilometres across the province. In addition to maintaining robust system integrity programs, our commitment to personal and public safety is realized through Saskatchewan residents who are reminded of safe digging practices through our public education and awareness initiatives.

The more than 3,500 students who visited the Balgonie Multiplex over three days in May had the chance to do a gas line locate, and to learn how gas meters function. 

“Some students were very interested in the gas line locating equipment. I even had one student say, ‘This is very cool; it’s like a stud finder for underground,’” says SaskEnergy Utility Operator Michael Ruf. “Some of the students had great awareness about safe digging and talked about their experiences at home when their parents called in for locates.”

Meanwhile, other students had an eye-opening experience. 

“When we started talking about line hits, as soon as you start showing them the damaged pipe we had with us, their eyes got pretty big,” says SaskEnergy Service Technician Mike Korchinski. “They didn’t realize how long it takes for us to fix some of these line hits — some of them can take days.” 

These same lessons were imparted in Moose Jaw on May 3 at an event attended by approximately 600 students from Prairie South School Division.

In addition to gaining safety information, students at the two events learned about the diverse work environment SaskEnergy offers. 

“Lots of them were asking how many different positions we had — we’ve got everything,” says Mike. 

As a company of more than 1,100 employees, SaskEnergy offers challenging career opportunities for people from various backgrounds and disciplines.