Portage College awarded grant to provide Class 3 Driver Training in Lac La Biche, Cold Lake and St. Paul areas.
March 30, 2023

Portage College is pleased to announce the receipt of a grant from the Government of Alberta that will provide Class 3 Driver Training with tuition being waived for qualifying students. This grant will support the Class 3 Driving to Work program at Portage College. This program will produce industry and employment-ready graduates by providing wrap-around supports that participants often need to be successful in securing and maintaining employment.

"We understand that for many people, access to training and employment opportunities can be a challenge. That's why we are so excited to receive this grant from the Alberta government, which will allow us to expand our program and provide even more people with the opportunity to improve their lives through education and employment," said Nancy Broadbent, President and CEO of Portage College.

The Class 3 Driving to Work program will provide participants with the necessary skills and certifications to enter employment on a wide range of work sites. Upon completion of the program, participants will be prepared for work in any Class 3 job with Class 3 driver training, air brakes and safety certification training. Participants will also have a polished resume and cover letter as well as refined interview and job search skills. Additionally, participants will be connected with community resources.

"We are committed to providing Albertans with the training and support they need to succeed in the workforce, regardless of their background or circumstances,” said Stephanie Solarz, Associate Dean of Foundational Learning and Skills Development at Portage College. “This grant from the Government of Alberta will allow us to expand our program and provide even more targeted support to women, persons with disabilities and Indigenous participants, who often face additional barriers to employment."

This funding is delivered through the Government of Alberta’s Workforce Strategies grants under the Alberta at Work initiative – a collection of strategic investments to help Albertans develop new skills and grow their careers. Investments help attract new talent to the province and encourage all Albertans to find their place in the labour market. Examples include post-secondary enrolment in priority programs, additional funding for the Canada-Alberta Job Grant’s employment training programs, and investment into employment for people with disabilities.

"We are proud to support Portage College in their efforts to provide Albertans with increased access to Class 3 Driver Training," said Brian Jean, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Northern Development. "This program will provide participants with the necessary skills and supports to enter the workforce and contribute to the province's economic growth. We look forward to seeing the positive impact this program will have on individuals and communities across the region."

The Class 3 Driving to Work program is currently recruiting for its first offering in Lac La Biche which begins on April 3. Each program offering will be 8 weeks long and the program will offer 9 cohorts over 2 years. The cohorts will be scheduled on a rotating basis between Lac La Biche, St. Paul, and Cold Lake. 

"At Portage College, we believe that education and employment are key to building stronger communities and empowering individuals. We are grateful for the opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of so many people through this program, and we thank the Alberta government for their support," said Broadbent.

For more information about the Class 3 Driving to Work program, email Continuing Education at training@portagecollege.ca or call 780-623-5631.

Portage College and Government of Alberta (GOA) staff meet to sign off on the Class 3 Driver Training grant.
Portage College and Government of Alberta (GOA) staff meet to sign off on the Class 3 Driver Training grant. Left to right: Portage College: Stephanie Solarz and Nancy Broadbent. GOA: Randy Basom and Kyra Tuff.

Class 3 students

First group of students were on campus April 3 for the first day of the Class 3 Driving to Work Program. Lac La Biche Count and Portage College pose for group photo. Left to right, top row: Burt Hurding, Kevin Pare (LLB County), John Mondal (LLB County), Sterling Johnson (LLB County), Joseph Huppie, Kendall (Melanie) Williamson, Christopher Swan and Bev Moghrabi (Portage College). Left to right, bottom row: Stephanie Solarz (Portage College), Vasily Ganovicheff, Michell Amero, Shawn McMullen and Lynn Rhoddy (Instructor).

Media Inquiries:

Roy Dallmann, Acting Press Secretary, Jobs, Economy and Northern Development
587-873-7140 or email

Portage College
Jaime Davies, Corporate Communications Manager
780-623-6671 or email

We acknowledge that Portage College’s service region is on the traditional lands of First Nation Peoples, the owners of Treaty 6, 8 and 10, which are also homelands to the Métis people. We honour the history and culture of all people who first lived and gathered in these lands.
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