Edmonton Valve & Fitting Goes To College

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Tue, May 09, 2017 @ 09:05 AM





Each year we help students and experienced workers learn new skills


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Edmonton Valve is well known by the instrumentation students of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology; from the Swagelok classroom, to social events our relationship with NAIT is continually evolving.


Our commercial customers aren't the only ones who benefit from Edmonton Valve & Fitting's training classes. Every year we also send a team into classrooms at colleges and universities in the region to give some real-world insight into the configuration and assembly of fluid systems.

Our biggest university and college engagement is with the Instrumentation Training Program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. This nationally accredited program teaches a comprehensive course of studies in industrial measurement and control.

Each year Edmonton Valve & Fitting teaches over 250 students and apprentices within this program about tube fitting safety and installation, and tube bending.  While we have only a small part to play in the two-year course, we know it's an important one.

We've a special connection to NAIT. Not only have we been conducting the classes for more than two decades, we have an alumnus heading the program.

"This was something that I picked up in my early years as a pet project," says Chris Horne, one of our Account Managers. "I was president of the student association when I left the college. So when I came to Swagelok, I took this on."

Strong demand

Over the years, our university and college engagement program has grown and evolved to keep pace with changes in technology and in the workplace.

There was a time when a lot of learning took place in the field, with old hands passing along their expertise to new arrivals. Today, companies have put a higher priority on formal training to make sure they put the right people in the right spots.

Likewise, technology continually improves. Instrumentation skills have become much more specialized since the 1990s.

Even Swagelok's classic tube fitting has benefited. The fitting itself has the same four components it has had since 1947, but improved materials and techniques of manufacturing today produce a fitting that performs better and lasts longer.

Back when we started working with NAIT, the instrumentation program had only a few classrooms and labs. Today it's one of the largest instrumentation programs in the world with one of the finest training facilities of its kind anywhere.  The Spartan Center boasts 11 instrumentation labs featuring $6.5 million of new equipment, smart classrooms wired to take advantage of the latest technologies and wireless capability in the common areas.

We also sponsor the Brian Clarke Award for achievement in instrumentation workshop practice.

Other outreach

NAIT isn't the only campus where you will find Edmonton Valve & Fitting in the classroom. We instruct the Alberta Pipe Trades in our area in the same type of course. While these people are already working in the field, they are being asked to stretch beyond their experience with piping. We train them on tube fitting and tubing systems

We also work with the University of Alberta, Lakeland College and MacEwan University.

We like introducing people to the components and processes they will encounter in their careers.

"On a daily basis we have people come through our doors who have been through our training," Horne says. Many of those former students tell us how great it was to get their first industry perspective from us in the classroom.


Additional resources


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Topics: Training, Value Added Services, local expert