Selkirk College Connects Employers to Students Eager to Achieve Through Work

Co-op Education & Employment Services Assistant Olga Sherstobitoff and Manager Brenda Smith (front l-r) met with (back l-r) Selkirk College alumnus and wildlife biologist Aaron Reid and Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations employers Rob Martin from in 100 Mile House and Steve Jablanczy from Cranbrook.
Co-op Education & Employment Services Assistant Olga Sherstobitoff and Manager Brenda Smith (front l-r) met with (back l-r) Selkirk College alumnus and wildlife biologist Aaron Reid and Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations employers Rob Martin from in 100 Mile House and Steve Jablanczy from Cranbrook.

Partnering with Co-op Education & Employment Services to hire a co-op student from Selkirk College brings countless paybacks to employers throughout the province.

Employers benefit from a connection to highly motivated and capable students in a variety of disciplines that are flexible and productive workers. Students can economically fill short-term staffing needs to cover for vacation or special projects while being tested out for hire as a future employee bringing recruitment and training costs down.

Rob Martin is from Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations in 100 Mile House and has been recruiting students through Selkirk College Co-op Education and Employment Services for 10 years. Students from the Forestry and GIS Program are assessed for hire during their work term.

“Students are essential to filling an ever increasing need for employees in this area,” he says. “And we know we are getting good quality students from Selkirk – nothing beats a good technician in the field.”

Selkirk College co-op students are fresh out of the classroom, immediately productive and bring an enthusiasm and cutting-edge industry know-how to the workplace.

“The students bring energy into the office. They are eager to learn and we learn from them too,” says Martin.

Resource Manager with Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Jablanczy hired co-op students from Selkirk College for the first time during the 2015/2016 school year. It’s a huge recruitment piece for his organization that is seeing staff reach retirement age.

“We need new blood and this helps get well-trained and educated students to our organization,” says Jablanczy from Cranbrook. “Selkirk College succeeds in providing students with the most up-to-date skills. We’re amped to hire more.”

Bringing a co-op student on board allows an organization’s employees the opportunity to mentor bright, enthusiastic future colleagues while giving input into college curriculum. Strong relationships are established, says Trevor Reid, a GIS and Planning Analyst with Nature Conservancy of Canada, Alberta Region. He works out of Nelson and employs GIS co-op students every year.

“I find the mentorship goes beyond the four-month coop term. It often extends into assisting the student with future resumes, job searches, and career advice,” he says.

“Although they vary in experience and compatibility with the job, the Selkirk GIS students generally bring a positive attitude and strong work ethic to the workplace. They come equipped with the required set of technical skills to handle the tasks of the job and are keen to learn more about the applicability of their studies in real-world situations,” says Reid.

The Co-op Education & Employment Services team contributes to the success of the placement through their personal and professional service. CEES staff promote your job to their students, facilitate interviews and stay connected throughout the placement.

Their free Career Central portal also allows employers to post and manage job openings with ease.

“Employers looking for the best and brightest people on the verge of career success value posting their jobs with us,” says Olga Sherstobitoff, CEES administrative assistant.

For more information on how to bring a co-op student into your work environment, contact Jessica Wright at jwright@selkirk.ca or 250-365-1258.