“First oil at Kearl is a great reward for everyone who put so much hard work into the development of the project,” said Brad Spence, Aboriginal Employment Coordinator. “For local businesses, this milestone also brings forward new types of work in longer-term support of day-to-day operations at site, in addition to ongoing contracts supporting the construction of the Kearl Expansion Project, as well as new opportunities from smaller projects on site.” While the types of opportunities have evolved, Kearl has retained the same proven and successful process for pursuing them. Kearl will continue to communicate opportunities with local Aboriginal and local businesses using the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce REDLink and the Northeastern Alberta Aboriginal Business Association NAABANet.
“We’ve had great success and very positive feedback on the system we have in place both from Kearl contractors and the local business community, so we wanted to maintain that format as we move forward at Kearl,” said Brad. “Opportunities supporting Kearl operations as well as construction, whether they are for Imperial or one of its contractors, will continue to be advertised through REDLink and NAABANet. We will also maintain our continuous communication with local businesses to ensure they are kept up to date on our operations and requirements, as well as actively engaged with NAABA and its members.”
One method through which Kearl keeps the community informed is through participation in events like NAABA’s annual general meeting. Imperial presented at the event, and also had staff on hand to answer questions regarding developments and opportunities at Kearl. Kearl is proud to contribute to the economic development of local Aboriginal and local businesses in the region. Between the start of construction in 2008 to year-end 2012, more than $1 billion worth of goods and services were purchased from local suppliers in the region, including more than $270 million from Aboriginal businesses.