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Mar 5, 2021

Kelowna Chamber Supports Businesses to Recover and Grow through Student Talent


March 5, 2021

Kelowna Chamber Supports Businesses to Recover and Grow through Student Talent

The Kelowna Chamber partners with UBC Okanagan, Okanagan College, and Talent Forward, to connect student talent with businesses in support of short-term labour needs Kelowna: On March 30 the Chamber will host a webinar for Kelowna area businesses to inform them on the variety of student talent available to support their business with short-term labour needs. In a challenging COVID-impacted landscape, Kelowna businesses can use student talent to help scale – in today’s jargon, to grow or expand in a proportional and usually profitable way – their team, allow them to innovate, save costs, and increase capacity, while also contributing to a future skilled local workforce.

In partnership with UBC Okanagan, Okanagan College, and Talent Forward, the upcoming Connect with Student Talent: Kelowna webinar will equip attendees with information about the range of student talent programs being offered at local post-secondary schools such as co-ops, apprenticeships, practicums, and projects. Attendees can hear student talent success stories, featuring local Kelowna businesses and not-for profits which have benefitted. Participants will leave the webinar having gained a better understanding on how to recruit the right students for their organization as well as having learned about funding incentives and subsidies offered when hiring student talent.

This webinar is sponsored by the Talent Forward program, a partnership between the BC Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning BC/Yukon (ACEWIL BC) which seek to facilitate the process of connecting the best and brightest student talent to businesses across British Columbia.

This free webinar is open to all Kelowna-based businesses and will be held on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 11:30am - 1:00pm PST. Pre-registration is required. To register, please go here. For any registration questions, please contact Heather Kalman at the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce at hkalman@kelownachamber.org.

Dan Rogers, Executive Director of the Kelowna Chamber noted “Kelowna continues to see a demand for skilled talent and will do for the mid- and long-term. Bringing students into local organizations is a smart strategic move, will help businesses and not-for-profits meet immediate goals related to productivity and innovation while also investing in the future labour market.”

Mary Clark, CEO, Agents of Discovery, submitted by the University of British Columbia Okanagan

"We’ve been fortunate enough to hire co-op students from the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus across a wide range of disciplines and have found that they have been invaluable to our business. They have been able to integrate into our team very effectively and begin to add value right away. After the COVID-19 pandemic began, we moved our offices to fully remote, and have found that Co-op students have continued to perform well remotely."

Ryan McWhirter, Controller, Arthon Constructors Corp, submitted by Okanagan College

“We hired an Accounting co-op student from Okanagan College in the spring of 2020 as an additional resource to keep up with growing demand we experienced due to large growth. Bringing a co-op student on board was one of the best decisions we’ve made, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The student was very agile, adapting to the changing work landscape of either being in the office or working remotely and excelling with a transition between positions to provide coverage for a leave of absence. Any projects we have assigned to the student have been picked up seamlessly, and her day-to-day work has been excellent; it was as if she had already been working for us for a year. We strongly recommend the co-op program for any company looking to expand and develop.”

About the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce is a federally incorporated not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to connecting, serving, and empowering the Kelowna and region business community. The Chamber provides numerous services to its 1,000 members and the broader business community including educational seminars, major events, member benefits, and government advocacy. In 2021, the Kelowna Chamber celebrates its 115th year and it continues to be recognized as one of BC’s leading business associations and among the leaders in the Canadian Chamber network. The Chamber invests 100% of the revenue it receives back into programs and services that continually add value to members, ultimately growing the Chamber’s reputation and membership base. The Board is elected from the membership and comprises leaders from various industry sectors and operates with a policy governance model and succession leadership that ensures efficiencies and strategic long-term outcomes.

About Talent Forward

Talent Forward connects businesses with student talent to help businesses recover and build for the future. This program is funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Training, and Skills and powered by the BC Chamber of Commerce network and ACE-WIL.

About UBC’s Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning founded in 2005 in partnership with local Indigenous peoples, the Syilx Okanagan Nation, in whose territory the campus resides. As part of UBC—ranked among the world’s top 20 public universities—the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world in British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley.

About Okanagan College

Okanagan College has campuses in Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon, Salmon Arm and a centre in Revelstoke. It delivers more than 130 programs to more than 21,000 learners (more than 9,000 full-time equivalent students) each year. OC has one of the largest populations of Indigenous students of any post-secondary institution in the province – more than 1,890 students in 2019-2020. The college offers programs in arts, science, business, health, social development, engineering technologies, trades, vocational, adult basic education and continuing studies. It also boasts three bachelor’s degrees—an Applied Bachelor of Arts: Community Research and Evaluation, Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor Computer Information Systems—along with an array of post-baccalaureate diplomas. More information is available about Okanagan College and its programs and services for students at www.okanagan.bc.ca.

Media Contact

Kristin Vandegriend Project Manager Talent Forward Kvandegriend@bcchamber.org 604-614-3155