CBT extends, expands Summer Works program for students

Suzanne Thompson, owner/operator of Kootenay Therapy Center in Cranbrook, trains Joy Friesen, the summer student she hired last summer with funding support from CBT’s Summer Works program. Photo courtesy of the Columbia Basin Trust

Columbia Basin students and businesses will be able to access the Summer Works program again in 2011, says a statement issued after Columbia Basin Trust directors approved the program for another year.

In addition, the program’s budget will increase to $500,000, from $390,000 in 2010, allowing more students to be hired, the statement said.

“CBT is committed to strengthening the economic well-being of the Basin, and the Summer Works program helps us do that by giving small businesses a helping hand to hire students,” Neil Muth, CBT president and CEO, said in the statement. “The 2010 pilot program was a success, providing 112 students with summer jobs, and we look forward to supporting even more students this coming year.”

The Summer Works program provides Basin small businesses with wage subsidies to hire high school and post-secondary students, including mature students, enrolled in full-time education. In 2010, the program resulted in 112 summer jobs for students throughout the Basin: half for entry-level positions and half for career-related employment. Of businesses that took advantage of the program, 90 per cent said they plan on applying again, and 99 per cent said they would recommend the program to other businesses.

The program will continue to be administered by College of the Rockies.

“This partnership with CBT worked extremely well for both parties last year,” said Tracey Whiting, College of the Rockies Manager of Contract Training and Business Development. “It resulted in a win-win situation for students seeking employment and the businesses that hired them. I’m looking forward to continued success this year.”

Information on the application process and timelines will be available in February 2011 at www.cbt.org/summerworks.

CBT delivers economic, social and environmental benefits to the residents of the Columbia Basin. To learn more about CBT programs and initiatives, visit www.cbt.org or call 1-800-505-8998.