ECO Canada’s environmental internships lay the groundwork for long professional relationships
For the people at Caro Analytical Services, an Environmental Youth Corps internship is more than a way to find new employees — they look at it as a way to invest in the future of their company. Even if that employee moves on one day.
The environmental and food-testing laboratory, which has offices in Vancouver, Kelowna and Edmonton, has participated in the EYC program four times. Each time Caro has hosted an intern, it’s been because they have brought the program to the attention of a potential candidate.
“During the interview process we’ve determined whether applicants are eligible for an internship, then let the applicants know we’re applying for grant funding, and asked them to apply to the program,” says Ed Hoppe, Division Manager. So far, Caro and its candidates of choice have matched up well with the EYC program, helped along by a straightforward application process.
The program, which receives funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Science Horizons, gives new graduates opportunities to start their careers in the environmental sector and host organizations the chance to expand their teams. The program differs from typical “internships” in that host organizations participate with the intention of hiring the candidate for a full-time position once the year-long internship ends. With $7-million in funding in place for 2016, the program is gearing up to match hosts and interns across the country.
“We found this nothing but a good experience for us,” says Hoppe, who urges other organizations to find out if they’re eligible, even if they aren’t planning to hire right away. “Sometimes when the grant funding is made available, we put in an application anyway, so we’re immediately aware when we have grant funding available.” The advance preparation has allowed them to consider bringing on an intern — and investing in training — when project budgets might otherwise prevent it.