Study shows College’s significant economic impact

Oc's Economic Impact InfographicA recent study undertaken by Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) found that in 2012-13 Okanagan College and its students added $542 million to the regional economy. It pegged the institution’s provincial impact at $915 million.

The study also found that Okanagan College students, who were active in the regional workforce over the course of one year, collectively contributed $446 million in higher earnings and increased employer productivity.
In addition, Okanagan College’s operations and spending from out-of-region students added $96 million to the economy.

The positive effect of Okanagan College runs much deeper than added income. On a provincial scale, Okanagan College grads in the workforce save the provincial social safety net an estimated $16 million annually through reduced crime rates, lower unemployment rates and improved health. In short, graduates are more productive and reduce the strain on social services.

“The results of this study confirm that there is a significant return on the investment in post-secondary education for graduates, taxpayers and our regional economy,” said Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton.

“The economic impact is important to acknowledge but so is the value education yields for students and the well-being of our communities.”

Read the full press release here.

College receives additional funding for Trades

Andrew BroadbentThe Province recently announced it would fund an additional 203 trades-focused seats at Okanagan College this year as part of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, an initiative aimed at increasing access and reducing wait lists for trades critical to the Liquefied Natural Gas industry and other sectors.

The allocation is part of $6.8 million announced to create 1,424 foundation and apprenticeship seats at 14 public post-secondary institutions throughout British Columbia.

One such student benefiting from the Province’s decision is Andrew Broadbent, a 17-year-old Summerland resident, who is scheduled to start his electrical foundation program in September at the College’s Penticton campus.

“I’m excited about being able to take the program this year instead of having to wait,” says Broadbent. “It’s good news.”

Okanagan College will receive $928,000 to support the seats that will be available to students as early as September 2014. The additional 203 seats include:

  • 18 steam / pipefitter foundation
  • 49 welder foundation
  • 30 heavy equipment operator foundation
  • 86 electrical foundation
  • 20 heavy-duty equipment mechanic foundation

Read the full press release here.

Don’t miss Connections next week

Today (Aug. 12) is the last day to register online for Connections, Okanagan College’s annual employee learning conference.

On Aug. 19 and 20, employees from all campuses will gather at the Kelowna campus from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and learn what’s going on at the College, attend some personal and professional development information sessions and socialize with colleagues. Employees are not expected to attend both days, but instead choose the day that works best with their schedules and department’s needs.

View the workshop planner here.

Register here.

Attendees are also asked to bring a refillable beverage container and a non-perishable food item with them to the event.

Explore wine and food

Jay DrysdaleOn Aug. 1-3, Okanagan College's Penticton campus hosted students from B.C. and Alberta in its first-ever Wine and Food Intensive, a three-day, action-packed exploration of the Okanagan wine region.

Designed for small groups, the intensive is an intimate experience where participants receive one-on-one instruction from the expert instructors, including chef and winemaker Jay Drysdale, viticulturist Penelope Roche, and wine blogger and educator Erin Korpisto.

Included in the three days were daily field trips and transportation on a private tour company bus, seasonal Okanagan lunches, and sensory wine and food education sessions at the Penticton campus.  

Okanagan College is offering many food and wine appreciation courses of varying length throughout the year, including a series of afternoon farm to table workshops and evening sessions exploring wine varietals of the world.

To view a complete schedule, see the Food, Wine, Tourism website.


Krysko named Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Dave KryskoOne of Club Penguin’s founders, Dave Krysko, has just accepted the role of Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Okanagan College.

In 2007, Club Penguin, a Kelowna-based social network for kids, was bought by the Walt Disney Company for $350 million.

Krysko’s role as Entrepreneur-in-Residence will be to offer occasional guest lectures, provide one-on-one and group mentoring, and generally encourage students with his story as an entrepreneur.

“I’m really looking forward to this,” says Krysko, whose CV includes musician, marketing, running his own agency, and developing Club Penguin with two partners: Lane Merrifield and Lance Priebe.

“This is an opportunity to share expertise and insights that have been developed through my career, and a chance to rub elbows with and learn from the leaders of tomorrow. I’ve been very impressed by the quality of students and graduates coming out of the College’s business program and am excited to be part of it.”

Krysko will be replacing Raghwa Gopal, another renowned Okanagan businessman, as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Krysko worked with Club Penguin for three years after the Disney purchase, leaving in 2010 as Senior Vice President to start Davara Enterprises, which he characterizes as an agency focused on developing a wide range of culture-making enterprises.

Read the full press release here.

Aug. 12, 2014, Vol. 9, Issue 10

Employee health and wellness

Okanagan College's Employee and Family Assistance Provider (EFAP), Optum PPC Canada, provides a wealth of information each month about an important issue regarding your health and well-being.

This month’s focus is managing stress at home and at work. The Balance Sheet newsletter features the following articles:

  • Manage Your Stress Before It Manages You — how to identify stress in the workplace and develop strategies to ensure you don't bring it home with you
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Do You Worry Too Much? —  the nature of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), symptoms to be aware of, and methods of treatment
  • Are We There Yet? Stress-Free Family Vacations  — strategies to help ensure your family vacation actually feels like a vacation

Read the August newsletter at the following link.

Optum PPC Canada is also hosting a webinar on Aug. 27 at 12 p.m., about recognizing and avoiding daily anxiety triggers.

Sign up for the webinar here.

Family Award application deadline

Applications are now being accepted for the Okanagan College Family Award, designed for immediate family members of continuing (regular) Okanagan College employees.The deadline is Sept. 19.

This round of applications is for programs or terms starting between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31. Full award criteria and the application form can be found in myOkanagan – follow the link to OC Express - Forms and then click through to Foundation. 

All applications must be date-stamped at the Student Services Administration office in Kelowna (or at the Campus Administration office in Penticton, Vernon or Salmon Arm) by Sept. 19.

For more information, contact the Financial Aid and Awards Office at 250-862-5419.


Terry Fox Run

On Sept. 14, Team Okanagan College will be participating in the 34th annual Terry Fox Run in Kelowna, starting at the Mission Sports Fields. Registration is at 10 a.m., race starts at 11 a.m.

 Click here to register.

If you have any questions regarding the Terry Fox Run, contact Angie March or Darrell Skinner. 

Kick Off Kelowna

At the beginning of the Fall semester, students are invited to attend Kick Off orientation events to welcome them to the Okanagan College community, meet other students and faculty, and help them understand how things work at the College.

Volunteers are needed in Kelowna on Sept. 2 for the Kick Off events. Sign-up by clicking the following link.

Yoga at work

Okanagan College employees and yoga instructors Kim Snyder and Dawn Balic teach yoga classes on a weekly basis to staff and students. It’s a great opportunity to relieve tension and restore energy and all levels are welcome. Bring a yoga mat, towel (for under your mat) and water. Wear comfortable clothes.

•    Monday from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m.
•    Tuesday and Thursday from Noon to 1 p.m.

Classes either take place in the courtyard if the weather is warm and dry or in an available classroom. The cost is free for students, and $7 for staff.

Email Kim Snyder to receive notices about events, classes and locations.


Okanagan College is a partner in the Okanagan Centre for Innovation, a $35-million high-tech centre being developed in Kelowna. The centre was recently awarded $6 million in funding from the provincial government, see Province kicks in $6 million for high tech centre in the Kelowna Capital News, and State of the art tech centre to be built in the Business Examiner.

Okanagan College received funding for 203 additional trades-focused seats this fall from the Province of B.C., see More funding means less waiting in the Kelowna Daily Courier, OC trades training investment paying off in the Kelowna Capital News, and College expands training spaces in the Vernon Morning Star.

An economic impact study reveals that Okanagan College contributes more than half a billion dollars to the regional economy, see College economic driver in the Kelowna Daily Courier.

One of Kelowna’s most successful business owners is Okanagan College’s new Entrepreneur-in-Residence, see Club Penguin founder helping students in the Kelowna Daily Courier, and Maxine DeHart’s column in the Kelowna Capital News.

Maxine DeHart’s column also mentioned a large genealogy conference taking place this fall at the Kelowna campus, see Genealogy society to host conference at Okanagan College.

Okanagan College hosted a Wine and Food intensive at its Penticton campus on the August long weekend, see Vin-dulge: Ultimate wine-food pairing course in the Penticton Herald, and Learning the intricacies of wine in the Kelowna Capital News.

OC Honorary Fellows George and Trudy Heiss were celebrated for their trailblazing efforts in the Okanagan wine industry by the Canadian Vintners Association, see Gray Monk recognized by peers in the Business Examiner.

Esteemed chef Bernard Casavant has joined Okanagan College as the institution’s culinary manager, see Distinguished Chef joins College’s culinary arts department in the Business Examiner.

Registrar Jane Muskens’ most recent column discussed why it’s important for older adults to consider going back to school to keep their skills relevant, see Don’t be afraid in the Vernon Morning Star.

The groundbreaking for Okanagan College’s $33-million Trades Training complex was mentioned in the Business Examiner this month.

Connie Denesiuk, Board of Governors' Vice Chair, will represent the Liberals in the next federal election, see Denesiuk receives Liberal nod in the Summerland Review.


Do you have comments, questions or a submission for INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE? Please email Public Affairs c/o Meredith Birchall-Spencer.

To ensure your submission is included, please send all details at least one day in advance of the newsletter’s publication.

The next edition of INSIDE OKANAGAN COLLEGE will be issued on Aug. 23, 2014.