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CBT continues School Works Program this fallPosted: August 1, 2012

The School Works Program pilot, which began its successful run in February, is being offered again this fall by the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) to Basin-based businesses and organizations.

School Works provides an $8/hour wage subsidy to encourage small businesses and non-profit, First Nation and public sector organizations in the Basin to provide part-time employment for full-time high school and post-secondary students in the Basin during the school year.

“CBT is pleased to be able to continue the School Works Program this fall,” said Sabrina Curtis, CBT Director, Planning and Development. “We are providing $600,000 toward wage subsidies for Basin organizations to increase the availability of jobs for students.”

College of the Rockies delivered the pilot and will continue to work in partnership with CBT to administer the program this fall.

“We are excited to continue collaborating with CBT after a very successful first run. The School Works Program has had such a positive impact on businesses throughout the Columbia Basin; we are thrilled to be a part of it,” Tracey Whiting, Manager of Contract Training and Business Development at College of the Rockies.

From January to June, 64 businesses throughout the Basin hired students part-time with the support of the School Works Program, including Just Liquid Sports in Cranbrook, which hired student Ryan Gerein.

“I loved my part-time job. Through this job I confirmed how much I love water sports. My favourite part about the job was the Wednesday paddle night. It’s cool to see customers enjoying their boat. I learned lots of new job skills, including quick books accounting software and how to talk to customers. I used to be really shy and now it’s not a big deal for me to talk to people in the store and I am much more outgoing,” Gerein said.

“Having Ryan here gave me time to plan for business growth and generally more time for business strategy. It gave me the opportunity to begin planning for Cranbrook’s White Water Park as well as plan for paddling club, both things that will grow my customer base. I was also able to focus on my business expansion-an 800 square foot space next door. I would not have been able to plan for this growth if I was not able to hire someone. This program makes a small business owner’s life easier,” noted Rob Porter, owner of Just Liquid Sports.

The fall application intake for the School Works Program will begin on a first-come first-served basis on August 14. Check for more information.

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

Above photo: Ryan Gerein, School Works employee and Rob Porter, Owner, Just Liquid Sports.

Columbia Basin Trust


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