Small business owners can now apply for wage subsidies

Application forms for popular summer works program available

Submitted to the Castlegar News

If you own a small business in the Columbia Basin, you can get financial help to hire a student over the summer by applying for a wage subsidy from Columbia Basin Trust’s summer works program.

To help businesses offer full-time summer jobs to high school and post-secondary students, the program provides a $7 wage subsidy for entry-level jobs and an $8 wage subsidy for career-related jobs. Since 2010, summer works has helped create up to 150 student jobs each summer in the Basin.

“We are really pleased with the success and continued growth of the summer works program — it’s been positive for everyone involved. Business get the help of an extra staff person and the students are able to stay close to home to gain valuable work experience during summer months,” said Lisa Kilpatrick, the Columbia Basin Trust’s senior manager for delivery of benefits.

The Element Bar and Grill in Castlegar was one of the businesses that benefited from the program last year.

“It’s tough to do all the things I need to do in a day and still achieve work-life balance,” said owner Florio Vassilakakis. “There are always projects on a list of to-dos that you hope to get to, but the day-to-day keeps you too busy. Hiring a summer student gives us that opportunity. Without the summer works program it would be difficult to afford to pay a student what they’re worth to do the job.”

Summer works helped student Sara Einarson. “Working at the Element was a great summer job. I had the opportunity to be creative and I developed the confidence to take on new projects. I enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment when projects I’d planned and organized were successful.”

“College of the Rockies is proud to administer the Trust’s summer works program,” said Tracey Whiting, manager of continuing education and contract training for the college. “Our coordinator, Wendie Cameron, works very closely with businesses throughout the region who do not have the financial resources to hire students without the program’s support.”

Application forms are now available; because the program is popular, you’re encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Learn more about the program at cbt.org/summerworks2015,  email summerworks@cbt.org or call 1-877-489-2687, ext. 3644.

 

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