Summer jobs program funding available

Last week was another chilly one across Northwestern Ontario, which makes it as good a time as any to look ahead and think of the warm summer months that are just around the corner.
Over the past few days, my office has received the 2011 guidelines for the Canada Summer Jobs Program, so I’d like to share a bit of information about the program and the application process for any employers who may wish to gain access to the program funding this year.
With the ever-increasing cost of a post-secondary education, students have few choices but to take on a summer job to pay for their textbooks and tuition. In many cases, however, students only are able to find low-skill summer jobs that simply “pay the bills.”
Paying the bills is good, but why should the learning stop once the classes end? Fortunately, the Canada Summer Jobs Program (CSJP) is dedicated to helping students find work while improving their professional skills and helping them adjust to the working world.
It also is an excellent opportunity for local business and service providers to beef up their staff over the summer months.
Under the CSJP, employers from across Canada are able to apply for funding to hire students to work in the summer months.
For communities across our riding, this program helps fund jobs that provide important services we depend on during the summer months, and helps us deal with the influx of tourists who flock to the region from south of the border and all parts of Canada.
It’s really a win-win situation for students and employers alike.
Under the CSJP, any not-for-profit organization, public-sector employer, or small business with 50 or fewer employees can apply for funding.
To qualify for funding, employers first must apply for CSJP funding by the deadline, which this year is Feb. 28. If the employers are successful in their application, they then can hire students who meet the eligibility criteria for this program.
For students who wish to apply for any approved positions, you must meet all of the following criteria:
•be between 15 and 30 years of age;
•have been registered as a full-time student in the previous academic year and intend to return to school on a full-time basis in the next academic year;
•are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, or have official refugee protection status under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; and
•be legally entitled to work in Canada, according to relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations.
The period for employers to apply for CSJP funding is approaching and the application period is quite short, so I recommend beginning the process as soon as possible.
Employers can submit applications starting Feb. 1, but the deadline again is Feb. 28.
Applications may be submitted online at www.servicecanada.gc.ca, by mail, or by dropping them off in person at your local Service Canada office.
As always, members of my staff are ready to assist you with your applications and to answer any questions you may have about the CSJP.
If you are interested in applying for funding or have any questions, contact my staff at the following offices:
•Fort Frances—Richard or Chris (274-9313);
•Atikokan—Val (597-2000);
•Thunder Bay—Mary or Margaret (toll-free 1-800-667-6186); or
•Ottawa—Cameron (1-613-992-3061 or via e-mail at raffej@parl.gc.ca)

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