Peter Barry is a graduate of the Science and Technology program at Father Patrick Mercredi School in Fort McMurray, and is now a new hire at Nexen.

May 29, 2015

Nexen supports a wide variety of organizations in the communities where we do business. Here's a great example of a far-reaching donation in Fort McMurray.

In 2012, Nexen made a $1 million investment in the Father Patrick Mercredi High School to create a Science and Technology (S & T) program, complete with leading-edge computer, science and health labs and multi-use learning facilities. The motivation behind this investment was to increase students’ exposure to the many facets of the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields of study and ultimately to train a local workforce, helping address the continual need for skilled workers in the oil sands industry.


The Science and Technology lab in Father Patrick Mercredi School in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

For Peter Barry, that support has really paid off. When he entered high school, Peter was immediately drawn to the S & T program. As a result of this training, Peter started with Nexen in the summer of 2012 as part of the Careers: The Next Generation Power Engineering Program. The program allows students to work in a power engineering internship each summer. Upon graduation, they can be eligible to write the exam for Fourth Class Power Engineering Certification.

Those summer placements turned out to be Peter's ace. "Being able to put the classroom learning into action was the best part of the program," he says. "I was able to get work experience throughout high school and because I had that experience I was able to get a full-time job with Nexen when I graduated.” Within five months of graduating from high school he had his Fourth Class Power Engineering ticket. And now he's training as a Process Operator at Nexen’s Long Lake oil sands facility, located south of Fort McMurray.

Peter’s story is just one example of the many successes of the students and graduates of the S & T programs at Father Patrick Mercredi High School. Nexen’s donation to educational excellence and innovation is leaving a lasting legacy and helping to create promising futures.