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Drissa Ouattara

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Rising through the ranks

With ninety-five per cent of graduates employed, or enrolled in further education, NorQuest College contributes significantly to Alberta’s economy.

Drissa Ouattara (pictured on the right), a new-Canadian originally from the Ivory Coast, wants to be included in that percentage. He also wants to give back to the place he now calls home.

“I want to stay in Alberta because I plan to work in the oil field,” he said. “I plan to stay here, work here and raise my kids here.”

Ouattara began  his NorQuest College education two years ago in the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program before moving on to English as a Second Language (ESL). Now enrolled in Academic Upgrading, the father of two would like to eventually earn a power engineering degree from an Alberta university.

His options upon graduation are plentiful. It is estimated that over the next decade Alberta will need up to 114,000 workers to fill the province’s labour needs.

“It is very exciting for me to make a fresh starting a new country,” he said, noting that he was an accountant in Ivory Coast. “I want something that will fit me and power engineering is the career that I want.”

NorQuest College has given him the opportunity to make that dream become a reality.

“I found a great community here. The teachers are good and they are very willing to help. The college is special to me because it is helping me get to my new career.”

I found a great community here. The teachers are good and they are very willing to help. The college is special to me because it is helping me get to my new career.