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July 2016 - Newsletter

A sustainable resource for the North

It used to be that youth in the North had to leave the North to pursue post-secondary education and launch rewarding careers. This is no longer the case. Recent university graduates are now re-examining where they want to be, where they want to go and how they want to get there.

There is a need for passionate, educated, hard-working youth in Northern B.C.'s local government sector. The current workforce is ageing out and the reserves of community volunteers are burning out. This creates unique opportunities for both graduates and communities alike.

Northern Development's internship programs were created to help the region's top-performing youth find ways to stay in the region they call home (71% of our interns grew up in Northern B.C.). They are ready for this new definition of success. They want to serve their region in a real, on-the-ground way. Northern Development internships allow recent graduates to gain the experience they need to land rewarding careers in communities where they can make a difference.

Internship program acknowledged with award

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On June 22nd, Northern Development CEO Janine North accepted a Distinguished Partnership Award on behalf of the Trust for the internship program from the Local Government Management Association (LGMA). The award was given as a combined award with the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) in recognition of the collaborative delivery of the Trust's internship program.

Northern Development internship placements are offered to the best and the brightest university graduates in the region. Of the 70 internships that Northern Development has placed throughout the North since 2009, 88% were filled with graduates of UNBC. This year, all eight interns are recent UNBC graduates with degrees ranging from English to Health Sciences (Meet The Interns to learn more).

Bringing energy, passion and capacity to the North in the form of interns is no easy feat. This program would not be possible without our partnerships with both local governments and UNBC. We are proud to share this award with them.

Interns by the numbers

Many of these recent Northern Development interns are now working in communities throughout northern B.C. Many of these recent Northern Development interns are now working in communities throughout northern B.C., from Mackenzie, to Prince George, Kitimat, Fort St James, Granisle and beyond.

Communities around northern B.C. all face a similar challenge; there is much to do and limited capacity to do it all. Northern Development's internship program helps develop the leadership and management skills of new graduates through hands-on work experience. But most importantly, the program results in a lasting legacy of capacity to help build a stronger north.

93% of Northern Development interns found jobs in northern B.C. immediately following, and even during, their internship. This success rate shows that there is a need for talented young minds, and a willingness and enthusiasm to stay and work in the region where many of the interns grew up.

Additionally, the power of the region can be seen in the successful retention of grads who are from outside the region. When you compare the number of interns who were born in northern B.C., to the number who are now working in the region, it becomes apparent that there is a positive net gain of 5%. Once someone experiences the lifestyle in northern B.C., its magic captivates making it difficult to leave. Retaining and attracting this talent in the north is a significant success of the program.

Since the program began in 2009, Northern Development has provided capacity to the North through 70 internships. The statistics below illustration just a small sample of the impact the program has made.

 

by-the-numbers

 

Interns prove to be invaluable members of their communities

Emily Kaehn, Granisle

Emily-Kaehn

Moving to a small community, for some, can be a daunting social challenge. This is especially true if you are a young adult leaving a university environment where you have been surrounded by your peers, to move to a community of little more than 300 people where the average age is 63.

When Northern Development intern Emily Kaehn came to the Village of Granisle, she quickly became a central member of their community. "She was a breath of fresh air,” says Sharon Smith, CAO of the Village of Granisle.

“The thing about Emily that is so wonderful is that when she came here, she was so open. It wasn’t even just in the office. She went out and wanted to learn what the community and the people who live here are all about. Her ability to interact and connect with everyone was absolutely amazing,” says Smith.

Not only is she Granisle’s assistant fire chief, but Emily has found a social place within the community’s aging population. “The seniors in the community have adopted her as their honourary granddaughter,” says Brenda Andersson, CFO of the Village of Granisle. Emily regularly attends meetings for the senior’s association, has brought in senior’s recreational programming such as armchair yoga, and is even a member of the senior’s curling team.

The youthful energy and perspective she brings to the community translates to her role in the municipal office as well. “She brings a different perspective to the table. This energy and insight invigorates the team,” says Andersson.

Through Emily’s internship, she has gained experience in every element of local government management. Working in close quarters with her colleagues has provided countless opportunities to observe and learn. “Whatever we’re working on, she has been exposed to it,” says Smith. “A small community can introduce the flow, timing and rhythm of municipal government that you just won’t get in a larger centre. It’s a team effort and she is soaking it all in like a sponge.”

Emily’s internship ended in April and Emily has been kept on as an Economic Development and Administrative Coordinator until the end of December. The Granisle team is invested in keeping her in the community. “We will do everything in our power to keep her on-board.”

Tyla Pennell, Taylor

Tyla Pennell-crop

When Taylor, B.C. began looking for an intern, they were struggling with challenges that face every small community.

“It’s easy for small municipalities to be overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done,” says Charlette McLeod, CAO of the District of Taylor. It is easy to hesitate before taking on an intern due to the time requirements to coach, but the District of Taylor found that the investment was worth it.

Tyla Pennell began as an intern in Taylor in 2013, and immediately took on roles that one wouldn’t expect of an intern. She took on management duties in every department in the District, assisting with legislative and council tasks, financial management, land use planning, public works and even help to resolve confidential human resource issues.

Shortly after arriving, Tyla became an asset for the community as well. She began volunteering with the fire department, and contributed to many local fundraising and community building initiatives. “She is all-in for the community. You can tell it’s really important to her,” says McLeod.

After her internship, Tyla went on to a temporary position, and is now in a permanent role as the Corporate Officer and Deputy Finance Officer with the District. “If you have a good work ethic and a willingness to learn, you can do anything in the North,” says McLeod. “Tyla is definitely a shining star. She is eager to learn and takes such pride in her work. The internship program has worked out so well for us. I don’t even know where we’d be without Tyla.”

Interns take economic development summit by storm

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Northern Development interns come from diverse academic backgrounds, with many having little experience with local government or economic development. The BC Economic Development Association's annual summit provides an outstanding opportunity for interns to not only meet colleagues, but to learn about current challenges and trends in the field.

This year's summit introduced the interns to the economic climate in B.C., challenges and successes faced by communities throughout the province, and offered strategies on how to deal with some of the issues that they'd likely face in the field. Their experience at the summit was captured on the Trust's twitter account, as they live tweeted their time there: www.twitter.com/northerndevelop

 

tweet-3-all

It wasn’t uncommon to hear someone excitedly say, “Oh! You’re THE interns!” before chatting about current projects and future plans. Northern Development's internship program has a strong reputation for selecting individuals with energy, insight and passion. Through their experience at the conference, it became apparent that although they may be young and new to the field, intern insight was genuinely sought after.

In one session a glance around the room showed the impact of the internship program, as over a third of those in attendance were either current or former interns. Their participation in the program provided a shared experience and a simple icebreaker to forming relationships that can provide support throughout their career in the field.

tweet 3Derek de Candole is a former Northern Development intern, and now the Business Attraction Specialist with Venture Kamloops and sits on the board for Economic Development BC.

From karaoke trivia to networking at educational sessions to the coverage of the summit on Twitter, our interns were electric. The learning and connections with colleagues in government, industry and economic development will prove to be a valuable resource to them not only in the months to come, but in their future careers.

Meet "The Interns"

The 2016 cohort of interns is made up of eight recent UNBC grads with diverse backgrounds. Many of them grew up in the communities that Northern Development serves. These interns work in communications, local government and economic development roles. This cohort has a valuable network right at their fingertips, made up of other interns (past and present), experts in their field and Northern Development staff. The year-long internship means that they not only get a strong foundation in their community, but also get time to put their knowledge and talents to the test.

13515336_10153500149276721_1487322097_n  Katherine Benny

Where are you from?
Prince George, B.C.

Where did you go to school?
UNBC – Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies.

Where are you doing your internship?
Northern Development office in Prince George.

What are you working on?
Coordinating materials for social media, media releases and announcements, monthly reports based on analytics for web and social media as well as building the monthly newsletter.

What do you like about the internship program?
Working for the Trust, I get a behind-the-scenes look at what projects people champion throughout the region. Each successful project provides amazing stories about the heart and hard work that people are willing to put into their communities. I find their passion inspiring and I love being a part of it.

What do you love about the region?
This is where my heart is. My family and friends are here. The lakes, meadows and trails that I grew up with are here. I care about this region and the people who call it home.

13523752_10153500154326721_1920744132_o Nicole Capewell

Where are you from?
Smithers, B.C.

Where did you go to school?
UNBC – Bachelors of Planning in Natural Resources Planning, Minor in GIS.

Where are you doing your internship?
City of Quesnel.

What are you working on?
Community plan revisions and ongoing work with the Policy and Bylaw committee.

What do you like about the internship program?
It has already given me lots of exposure to community groups and planning professionals. The training opportunities, workshops and webinars I can participate in wouldn’t have been possible without this internship. As a future planner, I am really looking forward to working more with the Official Community Plan revision process.

What do you like about the region?
I haven’t been in a small community since I graduated from high school in Smithers in 2011. It has been refreshing to get back to that small town life. My favourite part is the downtown. I love going for walks on my breaks. All the people that I work with have been extremely friendly and knowledgeable, which really makes all the difference.

13524026_10153502945831721_187044309_o Deklan Corstanje

Where are you from?
Terrace, B.C.

Where did you go to school?
UNBCBachelor of Health Sciences in Community & Population Health - Aboriginal & Rural Health.

Where are you doing your internship?
Northern Development office in Prince George.

What are you working on?
Report writing, connecting local industrial businesses with procurement opportunities (Supply Chain Connector) and researching funding sources for non-profits and local governments.

What do you like about the internship program?
I like the fact that it is a hands-on experience in helping improve the economic climate in Northern B.C. and positively impacting the lives of everyone involved.

What do you love about the region?
There is so much to offer here. There is such a diverse range of experiences available from exploring the outdoor recreation opportunities and the community itself. And there are such good people to enjoy life with.

13523788_10153500235261721_1174323256_o Brian Doddridge

Where are you from?
100 Mile House, B.C.

Where did you go to school?
UNBC – Bachelor of Arts in English.

Where are you doing your internship?
City of Terrace.

What are you working on?
Working with the Love Terrace shop local program, communications tasks and business development initiatives.

What do you like about the internship program?
This placement provides me with opportunities to get really involved in the community. By working with business owners, the media and elected officials, I find myself feeling right at home. I am enjoying the opportunity to explore the different facets of local government. The communications aspect of this placement helps me to expand upon my pre-existing skill sets and make new connections.

What do you love about the region?
Nothing beats the mountains and vast variety of natural wonders in the Northwest.

hasib Hasib Nadvi

Where are you from?
Guelph, O.N.

Where did you go to school?
McMaster University – Bachelor of Science with Honours. UNBC – Bachelor of Planning - Major Northern and Rural Community planning.

Where are you doing your internship?
City of Williams Lake.

What are you working on?
Updating existing and drafting new City policies and working with Community services and Development services departments.

What do you like about the internship program?
The opportunity to learn about different functions of a municipality and gain valuable experience throughout the year by working on a wide range of projects involving multiple departments.

What do you love about the region?
Getting outside.

dan Danielle Patterson

Where are you from?
Born and raised in Dawson Creek, but I have called Prince George home for the better part of a decade.

Where did you go to school?
UNBC - Bachelor of Arts (Major in Political Science, Minor in International Studies), Public Administration Certificate and recently my Bachelors of Planning (Northern and Rural Community Planning).

Where are you doing your internship?
Northern Development office in Prince George.

What are you working on?
Love Northern BC (launching and editing pages), Supply Chain Connector and tracking the success of the Community Foundation Matching Grants.

What do you like about the internship program?
I am enjoying learning more about communities, their champions, their opportunities, and the unique ways in which their local communities and economies have been shaped by and overcome challenges.

What do you love about the region?
I love the resiliency and diversity of Northern B.C. communities. Prince George is a friendly and generous community. It has been incredible to watch Prince George evolve since I first arrived.

shay Shaylyn Robertson

Where are you from?
Quesnel, B.C.

Where did you go to school?
UNBCJoint Major in Economics and International Studies with a Minor in International Development.

Where are you doing your internship?
The City of Quesnel.

What are you working on?
Maintaining the online presence of Love Quesnel, developing a business visitation program and developing a business plan for a coworking space.

What do you like about the internship program?
I’m looking forward to improving my hometown. I’m excited about training opportunities throughout my internship to further my education and expand my knowledge around local government and economics.

What do you love about the region?
I love the diverse recreational opportunities that it offers. I always spend my summers hiking, biking or taking a random Sunday drive to check out new lakes and trails. Our long winters mean lots of snowboarding at Troll Resort and the backcountry, or showshoeing the many trails around town. The people from Quesnel are so kind and generous. I’ve never walked downtown and not seen a friendly or familiar face. No matter where I end up in the future, this place will always be home.

Capture Shelley Termuende

Where are you from?
Sechelt, B.C.

Where did you go to school?
UNBCBachelor of Arts Joint Major in Political Science and International Studies.

Where are you doing your internship?
Village of Queen Charlotte.

What are you working on?
Preparing grant applications, creating emergency preparedness scenarios and business licensing.

What do you like about the internship program?
 I am really excited about the unique learning opportunities, strong foundational networks and community experiences a small, fledgling municipality can offer.

What do you love about the region?
I love that anywhere on the islands you are five minutes away from the ocean… I love that I can get crab you pay $40+ in restaurants by sticking a net in the water. I love that people learn your name and everybody waves to you as you drive by.