Archived — Government of Canada Investment Brings Together Conestoga College Graduates and Businesses in Southern Ontario

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For immediate release
March 2, 2012

Kitchener, Ontario — Harold Albrecht, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced today an investment of up to $825,000 for Conestoga College. This contribution will allow graduate students and recent graduates of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs to gain real-world business skills and experience through internships with small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the Kitchener-Waterloo region.

"Our government is committed to creating jobs and supporting economic growth in southern Ontario", said MP Albrecht. "We are proud to partner with institutions like Conestoga College to connect southern Ontario's small and medium-sized businesses with the fresh ideas and knowledge of our STEM graduates."

This investment is being provided through FedDev Ontario's Graduate Enterprise Internship, which provides funding for not-for-profit organizations and post-secondary institutions to arrange internship and mentoring opportunities for recent graduates and graduate students with small and medium-sized enterprises.

Conestoga College will use the financial contribution to create up to 75 internship positions for graduates of the College's STEM programs over the next three years. The graduates will gain business skills which will help them to integrate into the workforce and the participating SMEs will benefit from the transfer of technical knowledge from the graduates.

"Providing students with the opportunities they need to build successful careers is an integral component of our vision and our mandate," said John Tibbits, president of Conestoga College. "This investment will provide tremendous benefits for students, for industry and the local community, as recent graduates extend their training beyond the classroom and apply their knowledge to support the needs of local businesses."

The investment announced today supports the Government of Canada's science, technology and innovation agenda, which is focused on increasing the country's productivity, creating jobs and growing the economy.

Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region's strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. The Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region's businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. To learn more, please visit www.feddevontario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

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For more information, contact:

Stephanie Thomas
Special Assistant – Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
613-960-7728

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
519-571-6879


Backgrounder

Conestoga College

FedDev Ontario is providing Conestoga College with up to $ 825,000 to place 75 recent graduates of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs in internships with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Kitchener-Waterloo region over three years. Conestoga College will use the funding to support 50 per cent of the salary cost of the internship positions. The SMEs will provide the remaining 50 per cent of the interns' salaries and business mentoring to the graduates.

Thanks to this investment, the host SMEs will benefit from the labour and technical contributions of interns while the STEM graduates will gain valuable business skills which will help them faster integrate into the workforce thereby building a talent pool to meet the growing workforce demands for a knowledge-based economy in the Kitchener-Waterloo region

More information on Conestoga College is available at www.conestogac.on.ca.

Graduate Enterprise Internship

The Graduate Enterprise Internship will build a pool of highly skilled workers in southern Ontario by providing business and management experience to graduate students and recent graduates of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs. The initiative encourages private sector business leaders to pass on their knowledge and business skills to young people pursuing STEM studies in southern Ontario.

The initiative provides funding for eligible not-for-profit organizations and post-secondary institutions in southern Ontario to arrange internships with structured mentoring opportunities in southern Ontario small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for graduate students and recent graduates of STEM programs. Only organizations with established track records and currently delivering internship placements for STEM students or graduates are eligible.

Eligible applicants may receive a non-repayable contribution towards an intern's salary of up to $15,000 per six-month internship for a graduate student or recent graduate of a master's or doctoral-level STEM program and up to $10,000 for a recent graduate of an undergraduate STEM program or a college program at the advanced diploma level, as well as delivery costs to manage the internships. The host SME must contribute a minimum of 50 per cent of the intern's salary and benefits.

Contributions under the Graduate Enterprise Internship are not expected to exceed $5 million per applicant.

Applications will be accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis and applicants will be notified as their projects are approved. All project activities must be completed prior to March 31, 2014.

For more information, please refer to the Initiative Guidelines available on the website at www.feddevontario.gc.ca.

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