Hire a student, help your business

Fernie's Giv'er Shirtworks particiapted in Columbia Basin Trust's Summer Works Program last year.
— image credit: Submitted

If you are a small business owner within the Columbia Basin, hiring a student to help out over the summer can be a financial benefit to both the student and yourself. Through the Columbia Basin Trust's Summer Works Program, small business owners are eligible to apply for a wage subsidy for any student employees hired for the summer season.

Fernie's Giv'er Shirtworks was just one of the businesses that took advantage of the program last year.

“The Summer Works Program gave my business an opportunity we wouldn’t have been able to take on otherwise,” said owner Erin Summers. “The program administrators are extremely helpful, which makes it simple for businesses to participate. I would recommend the program to any business owner looking to add value to their business. Libby was a great addition to our team.”

The program was just as helpful for Giv'er Shirtworks' summer student, Libby Vanderschuit.

"I found working at Giv'er Shirtworks to be very helpful. It is liberating to be in a workplace where you are surrounded by great people who encourage you to progress in your work,” explained Vanderschuit. “I had the freedom to create, which is essential for me. I am very thankful for the experience."

To encourage businesses to offer summer jobs to high school and post-secondary students, the Summer Works Program provides a wage subsidy of up to $8 per hour for entry-level or career related positions. Since 2010, the program has helped create roughly 150 students jobs every summer in the Columbia Basin.

“Businesses benefit from the extra staff support, and students earn money for school, plus get valuable job experience. It’s positive for everyone involved,” commented Sabrina Curtis, director, Sector Initiatives at Columbia Basin Trust.

The College of the Rockies administers the Summer Works Program and is happy to help students throughout the basin, while developing local economies at the same time.

Application forms are available starting February 21 at As the program is quite popular, businesses are asked to submit their applications as soon as possible.

For more information about the Summer Works Program, visit, email, or call 1-877-489-2687 extension 3644.


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