By Cole Parkinson
If things go well, the Municipal District of Taber may be hosting a Municipal Internship Program student in the near future.
“This is a grant application opportunity that we were notified of last week,” explained CAO Arlos Crofts, at council’s meeting on Nov. 24.
The program is Canada’s largest and longest-running of its kind, and more than 300 interns and 100 Alberta municipalities have participated or are participating.
Host organizations receive grant funding to assist with costs which include the intern’s cost to attend a conference, enrolment in one course or workshop, attendance at internship workshops and the supervisor’s attendance at the internship conference.
The grant would need to be allocated with $35,000 for intern salary, $2,000 to non-payroll benefits, and $6,000 for expenses.
Host organizations are also expected to top up these amounts to a salary and benefit level and expense budget that is appropriate for the organization.
Coun. Brian Brewin inquired how much time commitment would be needed from staff.
“The time involvement will ultimately depend on whether we are successful in obtaining an intern through the administration stream or the finance stream. If it’s the finance stream, there would probably be two or three professional development days that you have to commit to throughout the year with the intern.”
“This is me just guessing, it’s likely utilizing technology now. Previously, you used to go to Edmonton,” answered Crofts.
Crofts also touched on the fact there would be two streams for a potential intern — a finance stream or an administration stream.
“In the case, we got an intern through the finance stream, Bryan Badura would likely be the intern supervisor,” he said, also stating he would likely be the supervisor in the administration stream.
One councillor detailed her experience as a municipal intern and shared why it could be beneficial for both parties.
“Many moons ago, I was a municipal intern and to me, it’s not just what we are going to give to the student, it’s what the student brings to you,” explained Coun. Tamara Miyanaga. “They have the latest technology and the latest information that they have learned from their studies so there is an opportunity for the municipality to capitalize on their knowledge and expertise. The youth factor potentially as well, not always, it could be someone my age. To me, I think there is merit in bringing a student/intern into our operation just to add a dimension to things we are looking at.”
Administration explained the internship would last one year, though Municipal Affairs may offer a second year renewal.
A motion to apply for the grant was carried unanimously.