New SIDIT-UBC co-op grant available for employers

Regional companies will be able to access and financial support to the best and brightest of young talent—UBC Okanagan co-op students.

  • Jan. 9, 2017 4:00 p.m.

An investment of $50,000 from the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust  to UBC’s Okanagan campus will give regional companies access and financial support to the best and brightest of young talent—UBC Okanagan co-op students.

The pilot program makes available grants of up to $5,000 to qualifying businesses in the Southern Interior region of B.C. looking to bring on a co-op student from the pre-screened talent pool for the first time. UBC Okanagan Co-op Education has expanded this year to include students studying diverse subject areas—everything from arts and sciences to management and human kinetics—in paid work opportunities across the province and beyond. This program builds on SIDIT’s ongoing support of UBC Okanagan students through its bursary and scholarship program, with a total investment exceeding $400,000.

“This is an exciting initiative, SIDIT is proud of the ongoing work to expand SIDIT’s relationship with UBC Okanagan. This program will greatly benefit both businesses and students in the Southern Interior,” said Grace McGregor, Chair of SIDIT board of directors.

The goals of the grant program are to develop co-op experiences and opportunities, encourage small- to medium-sized enterprises in the Southern Interior to hire a co-op student, support regional resident recruitment efforts by helping students access employment off-campus, as well as create a bridge between communities and the Okanagan campus of UBC.

“UBC Okanagan co-op has proven to be an excellent source of talent for the region, bringing youthful energy, new ideas and innovation to organizations for many years,” said Cynthia Mathieson, Provost and Vice-Principal Academic of UBC Okanagan.

“We thank SIDIT for investing in the program development that will support employers to make a significant difference in the lives of co-op students and, on a larger scale, develop a sustainable talent pool within the region.”

Preference will be given to small- to medium-sized enterprises that fit within one or more of the following categories: start-ups, family businesses, rural municipalities with a population less than 25,000, entrepreneurs, employers in remote communities, manufacturing and agricultural operations with less than 50 employees, and non-profit organizations.

The program has a particular focus on co-op work experiences that demonstrate direct impact and community development around agriculture, forestry, pine beetle recovery, transportation, tourism, mining, small business, economic development and energy matters.

The Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust was created by an Act of the BC Legislature in 2006.

SIDIT received a one-time allocation of $50 million from the Province of BC designated for strategic investments in sustainable economic development initiatives throughout the southern interior of British Columbia. The Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust Act mandates investment in ten areas of the economy.T hese areas include Energy, Forestry, Mining, Olympic Opportunities, Agriculture, Transportation, Small Business, Tourism, Pine Beetle Recovery, and Economic Development. SIDIT is managed by an independent Board of Directors comprised of thirteen members – eight elected municipal officials and five BC Government appointees from the SIDIT Region. SIDIT is focused on supporting economic development initiatives that will demonstrate long term measurable economic impact within the Southern Interior.

For more information and details on grant eligibility, visit

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