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Alvin Woo

SAIT helps Tundra launch leadership group

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Challenge

For Iggy Domagalski, CEO of Tundra Process Solutions Ltd., the decision to support his employees’ professional development was an easy one. Figuring out where to start was more of a challenge.

“We really believe training is a critical pillar of human resources management and of our company,” he says.

“It’s about preparing employees to be the great future leaders we know they can be. ” Tundra has over 150 employees throughout its multiple locations in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Denver, Colorado.

Solution

In 2014, Domagalski created The Tundra Leadership Group to provide training for future leaders within the organization.

Because Tundra works closely with clients in the energy sector, Domagalski wanted to further his employees’ knowledge of the oil and gas industry. He turned to the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) for its leadership in the energy sector applied education.

“We often forget that a lot of people have no idea what happens outside of their own piece of work,” he says. “The more we understand about the whole industry, the better we can understand our clients and the better we’ll do as a company.”

Through SAIT’s Corporate Training Solutions department, Tundra’s employees have participated in the Petroleum Industry Overview, Business of Oil and Gas, and Energy Leadership Skills courses.

Alvin Woo works with the SSi Artificial Lift Group, a subsidiary of Tundra, and says his mind is blown by the employee development investment the company is making. “A lot of companies hire outside people instead of developing and promoting their own,” he says. “Tundra is identifying and creating its own leaders by improving the skills of its own people.”

Some of the course work was delivered through face-to-face instruction by a SAIT subject matter expert and some was delivered through SAIT’s customized, online learning system.

Woo says the oil and gas industry courses touched on a little bit of everything from liquid natural gas and steam-assisted gravity drainage to leasing, permits, drilling and completions. “Our instructor brought a well-rounded industry background to his delivery,” he says. “I was really engaged because of the way he spoke, delivered the information and told us about his first-hand experiences.”

To offset the expense of employee skills development, SAIT worked with Tundra to secure funding through the Canada-Alberta Job Grant, which covers two-thirds of the cost of eligible training programs.

“We are unique in the support we give our training partners in applying for government funding,” says Craig Hess, SAIT’s Associate Director of Corporate Training Solutions, North America.

Results

After the Petroleum Industry Overview and Business of Oil and Gas courses, Domagalski says: “We continued to have a positive experience, so we decided to do something more. Tundra University is specifically targeted at our younger, up-and-coming leaders, so Energy Leadership Skills was a good fit.”

Woo found the leadership training interesting and challenging. “As a leader, you may get respect, but you only keep it by doing things in a way that people appreciate,” he says. “Learning theory is one thing, but this practical training is huge. I’m learning the difference between being a boss and being a leader.”

More than 1,000 industry advisors per year contribute their expertise to curriculum development at SAIT, helping companies provide the most relevant skills development to their employees. “One of the benefits you get with SAIT, that you don’t get with other training providers, is curriculum that’s been developed by industry, for industry,” says Hess.

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