Hire a student this summer

This past week, I had the opportunity to interview students from across the region for a summer position in my constituency offices.
Having posted the position in late June, and not having previous opportunities to hire students, I was not sure of the quantity or level of interest of the applicants I would receive.
I am pleased to report I was overwhelmed with the response—both in quality and in quantity.
As a result of a one-week posting, I received nearly three dozen applications for the position, with some of the best and brightest our region has to offer putting their names forward.
These students are intelligent, eager, willing to work, and have diverse skills that would benefit any organization. Truth be told, the applicants were so good, I wish I could hire each and every one.
While budget constraints make such a wish impossible, the process itself was very enlightening.
One thing I learned is that, despite advertising relatively late in the season, many talented students still are out there looking for work. The vast majority of students I interviewed had either no employment this summer or were working short-term positions that already had wrapped up.
Summer jobs not only allow students to save up for their education, they provide vital experience that will help prepare them for entering the job market permanently.
Summer positions often can pique an interest that helps shape long-term career goals.
When I was in school, I worked in a variety of summer jobs, including working at the Ear Falls sawmill, the Thunder Bay Crown Attorney’s Office, and as a program leader for children and youth living in low-income neighbourhoods in Thunder Bay.
All of these positions taught me valuable lessons, cultivated a diverse skill set, and provided me with a rich background.
But it was my summer positions working for former MPP Howard Hampton that led to permanent employment and started me on an exciting career path.
The students I interviewed are studying a wide-range of career choices: from business administration to marketing, political science, event planning, nursing and other positions in the medical field, engineering, and other fields.
Almost all of them expressed a desire to return home to Northwestern Ontario once their education is finished.
I would encourage anyone who is looking for a extra help this summer to seriously consider creating an opening for a summer student.
It is a credit to our educators, families, and communities that we are raising such high-calibre applicants, and for that, we should all be proud.
As our economy rebounds, we will be looking for highly-skilled workers who can fill a variety of positions. Many of these positions will be filled by skilled workers who already are living in our region or plan to return when the job market picks up.
Many others will be filled by young people just entering the workforce.
The youths I have met during this process, and throughout my travels, have shown that they are up to the challenge—and that is great news for the future of Northwestern Ontario.