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Green economy means new opportunities for pair of Alternative Energy grads

Published on May 03, 2016

Convocation 2016

Brandon Sandmaier and Jeremy Frentz are reinventing themselves to plug into Alberta’s green energy economy.

The pair graduates this week from NAIT’s Alternative Energy Technology diploma program. They’ve also partnered on a new business venture called Generate Energy. The company offers residential and commercial energy audits, and also designs and installs solar PV systems. Sandmaier and Frentz developed the business plan as part of their studies at NAIT.

It’s a new direction for the pair. Prior to starting in the Alternative Energy Technology program, Sandmaier was a heavy equipment technician, working in the oil sands and other sectors of Alberta. He graduated from NAIT’s Industrial Heavy Equipment Technology program in 2004, and went on to get his Red Seal trade certification.

While he loved his career, he was also burning out. “I wanted a new challenge and I wanted to spend more time with my kids,” says Sandmaier, 32.

Frentz, meanwhile, holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta. “But I didn’t see myself working in a classroom setting,” says Frentz, 28. With a keen interest in renewable energy and a desire to work with his hands, he enrolled in the Alternative Energy Technology program.

NAIT's 2016 Convocation will be held on Friday, May 6 (6:30 p.m.) and Saturday, May 7 (8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.) at The Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 11455 - 87 Ave. More than 8,000 students will graduate this year.

Brandon and Jeremy are available for media interviews. Visit NAIT’s Flickr page to download photos suitable for publication.

About NAIT 

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and trades. With nearly 60,000 credit and non-credit students and a 95 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads are essential to Alberta’s prosperity. Known for hands-on, technology-based learning, NAIT engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. Recognized as one of Alberta’s top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta.