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2011 Summer Works program information now available

Dawn Manning, Owner of Bear Country Kitchens in Rossland participated in the 2010 Summer Works Program. It was such a success for her business, she plans on re-applying again this year. Applications for the program will be available Feb. 22.

Applications for the Columbia Basin Summer Works Program will be available Feb. 22.

Funding for the program has been increased to $500,000 up from $390,000 last year to allow more students to be hired. Fully subscribed in 2010, 90 per cent of businesses who participated in the program said they plan on applying again this year.

Launched as a pilot program last spring, the Summer Works program encourages businesses to provide summer employment for high school and post-secondary students by providing up to $8 per hour in wage subsidies for entry level and career-related positions.

Reviewed in the fall, changes have been made to the program guidelines and application to make the process easier for potential employers and to effectively fill the gap in wage subsidy funding in the region.

“Applications are being accepted a month earlier this year, benefitting businesses by allowing them to recruit and hire much sooner,” said Lisa Erven CBT manager, planning and development. “Additionally, students will benefit by knowing ahead of time if they’ve secured a summer job in the area.”

Start dates for post secondary students are also two weeks earlier this year with the earliest start date set at April 18. High school students can start as soon as June 24.

“Participating in the Summer Works Program allowed me to provide an opportunity for a student to gain new skills and enabled me to grow my business,” says Dawn Manning, owner of Bear Country Kitchens in Rossland. 

“Overall, I saw growth in my monthly sales and my customer satisfaction level was perceived as very good. My store had a breadth of fresh ideas from a new and young employee.

"This employee was so successful that I’ve continued to employ her through her senior year of high school. I will definitely re-apply for the 2011 Program and have recommended it to other small businesses.”

Due to the popularity of the program, businesses looking to take advantage of the Summer Works program in 2011are encouraged to apply as soon as possible after Feb. 22. Complete applications will be processed based on minimum requirements on a first received, first served basis.

The Summer Works Program is administered by College of the Rockies. More information is available at www.cbt.org/summerworks or by calling 1.877.489.2687 ext 3644.

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.