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Suncor Energy invests in apprentices at SAIT Polytechnic

Blended learning apprenticeship programs receive $600,000 donation

CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/15/14 -- Editor's Note: There is a photo associated with this release.

Suncor Energy today announced a $600,000 donation to SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) Polytechnic to support the enhancement of the blended learning apprenticeship programs. Blended learning allows apprentices in select high-demand trades to stay on the job longer and still complete their education.

Originally launched in 2012 for plumbing, welding and electrical apprentices, in 2013, the program expanded to include carpentry and, in 2014, automotive service technicians. The funding support from Suncor will allow SAIT to improve and develop additional online curriculum. This in-house development of modules allows the option for regular updates and improvements to training scenarios as industry evolves.

"Building a skilled workforce to meet the demands of our economy isn't something that can be done by any one organization. It requires ongoing commitment and partnership from post-secondary institutions, government, and industry," says Ron Genereux, vice president, Major Projects, Suncor. "That's why we are committed to investing in initiatives that provide practical solutions to help build skills and knowledge for our current and future workforce and to strengthen the labour market."

Blended learning allows apprentices to complete the theory portion of their training online, reducing classroom time by up to 15 weeks, so employers maintain their workforce, and students continue to bring home a paycheck. Apprentices then complete lab work over a condensed period at the SAIT campus.

The program was developed in response to the Government of Alberta estimating the province could experience a labour shortage of approximately 96,000 by 2023. Close to 3,500 of those workers are expected to be in the five blended learning trades at SAIT.

"Suncor is helping SAIT make it easier for people to achieve their apprenticeship training goals," says David Roberge, Dean of the School of Manufacturing and Automation at SAIT Polytechnic. "The more apprentices we can effectively train, the more opportunity we have to prevent the projected labour shortage and fuel our provincial economy."

A portion of the funds from Suncor will also support curriculum development for the non-destructive testing program in the School of Manufacturing and Automation.

For more information about Suncor Energy and our community investment program, please visit our website at suncor.com/community.

Suncor Energy and the Suncor Energy Foundation (SEF) have a proud history helping build sustainable communities through collaborative partnerships that enhance the quality of life in key operating areas. Over the past 10 years, Suncor and the SEF have invested more than $137 million in charitable and non profit organizations across Canada and internationally. The SEF is a private, charitable foundation established to receive Suncor's contributions and support registered Canadian charitable organization.

Suncor Energy is Canada's leading integrated energy company. Suncor's operations include oil sands development and upgrading, conventional and offshore oil and gas production, petroleum refining, and product marketing under the Petro-Canada brand. While working to responsibly develop petroleum resources, Suncor is also developing a growing renewable energy portfolio. Suncor's common shares (symbol: SU) are listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges.

For more information about Suncor Energy visit our web site at suncor.com, follow us on Twitter @SuncorEnergy, read our blog, OSQAR or come and See what Yes can do.

To view the photo associated with this release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20140515-946377_bg.jpg

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