Conestoga news

March 2, 2012 12:35 PM

Government of Canada investment supports graduates and businesses

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