NAIT Celebrates

Sandvik Coromant is named the Distinguished Industry Partner for their leadership in the community and long-standing support of machinist education.

Sandvik Coromant

NAIT Celebrates Sandvik Coromant

Partnership with the global leader in manufacturing innovation committed to educating skilled machinists  

"We are truly honoured to be recognized. The Distinguished Industry Partner award is not only for Sandvik Coromant, but also for all the graduates we have supported throughout their years of learning, and who are supporting us now throughout their years of work.” Magalie Jackson, general manager of Sandvik Coromant Canada

Near the heart of NAIT’s original campus is the 31,000-square-foot Sandvik Coromant Centre for Machinist Technology. It’s a state-of-the-art facility that has had a major impact on several industries by producing some 1,300 students annually. Since it opened in 2008, it remains unmatched by any other educational institute in Canada.

“Together we ensure that students are equipped with the skills and knowledge employers require, reducing the gap between educational program and industry,” says Magalie Jackson, general manager of Sandvik Coromant Canada.

That commitment has led to Sandvik Coromant being named NAIT’s 2024 Distinguished Industry Partner. Throughout the now 16-year partnership, the company has invested upwards of $2.6 million to support scholarships, equipment, and funding to ensure that automotive, medical, oil and gas, power generation, aerospace industries, and more have the skilled machinists they need to succeed. 

“Our collaboration with NAIT guarantees the alignment of the curriculum with the current and future needs of the manufacturing industry,” says Jackson.

Supporting highly skilled and technical programming

“Machining is a very technical trade,” says Mike Oostenbrink, who graduated from the Machinist program in 2013 and got his start in the industry as a technical sales rep with Sandvik Coromant.

“Some parts you are making must be accurate to less than a thousandth of an inch – less than the width of a hair.”

Sandvik tooling is a critical component of that accuracy. Students learn to put those skills into practice at the centre, which is outfitted with tools and equipment including the latest in metal cutting, lathes and grinding machines.

The rapid development of technology in the industry – including automation and artificial intelligence – demands that kind of hands-on exposure and experience. And the strength of the economy depends on it.

In a 2022 labour survey from Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, 62% of manufacturers said they lost or turned down contracts because of the lack of workers. The result was $7.2 billion in lost sales.

While 2023 showed improvements, a shortage of skilled machinists remains a barrier to industry growth and innovation.

Attracting students with high-quality educational opportunities and career prospects “creates a network of professionals to remain up-to-date and relevant in that rapidly evolving industry landscape,” says Jackson.

Skilled graduates show value of partnership

“The graduates coming out of NAIT are proof of the value of our partnership,” says Jackson.

For Sandvik Coromant, Oostenbrink is another success story worth celebrating – and their investment was an important part of it (he received one of their scholarships in 2013.) It’s further proof of the impact of the efforts of 163 years in business, 80 of those in Canada – and of the continued value of the company’s ongoing partnership with NAIT.

Oostenbrink who after working in industry (a 2023 Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award recipient) set out to extend that network himself by establishing Exakt Industries in Edmonton in 2021.

“Graduates have role model positions throughout industry,” says Jackson. “They share their product knowledge and best practices, keeping our Sandvik brand in mind.”

Sandvik Coromant’s 16-year-long impact

  • $2.6M invested since 2008
  • 150 students received $300,000 in Sandvik Coromant scholarships
  • Nearly 20,000 students have used the Sandvik Coromant Centre for Machinist Technology

Distinguished Industry Partner Award

The Distinguished Industry Partner Award is presented to an organization that has shown an ongoing commitment to NAIT and has played a critical role in supporting NAIT’s vision and mandate.

More 2024 NAIT Celebrates Recipients

Champions, community-builders, mentors, visionaries and leaders make up the 2024 NAIT Celebrates award recipients. Read more about the lasting impact each has made through their spirit, dedication and generosity.

Ray Pisani

Ray Pisani is named the Distinguished Friend of the Institute for his outstanding contributions to our polytechnic and impact in the community.

Robyn Dawson

Robyn Dawson receives the Distinguished Alumni Award for helping Alberta businesses and communities thrive as a leader in media planning and buying.

Marcie Kiziak

Marcie Kiziak receives the Alumni Award of Excellence for her advocacy of women’s success in business, and her leadership as the CEO of NOVA Cannabis.

Arlo Maverick

Arlo Maverick receives the Alumni Award of Excellence for his support of the community and achievements as an award-winning musician, promoter and filmmaker.

Shreya Nandiraju

Shreya Nandiraju receives the Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award for her success and leadership in the engineering and automation fields.

Priya Winsor

Priya Winsor receives the Spirit of NAIT Alumni Award for her career achievements as founder of Compass Chocolates and for her support for the community.

2025 Award Nominations

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