Resort partners with Thompson Rivers University to help students find careers

A $75,000 donation from Sun Peaks Resort will provide students with industry mentorship
Photo from Thompson Rivers University on Twitter.

Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and Sun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR) are teaming up to help connect students to careers on the mountain through industry mentorship and work placement opportunities.

On Dec. 6, TRU and the resort released a statement announcing the five-year partnership, which benefits students interested in tourism, hospitality, trades and early childhood education. 

Helen Davies, SPR’s human resources director of employee experience, said Sun Peaks is often known for tourism and hospitality but added the community needs workers from other industries as well.

“We are looking forward to working with TRU students from all areas to showcase the range of opportunities and career development available, while building a stronger partnership with the university,” she said in the statement.

The partnership includes a $75,000 donation from SPR that will be allocated in three main areas. 

A portion of the funds will go towards TRU’s Tourism Innovation Lab Fund, a non-profit designed to help students develop tourism business ideas through research and industry mentorship.

The donation will also help TRU’s Trails to Reconciliation Fund, a 12-day field course where students visit Indigenous communities to build mountain biking trails. The course includes a visit to Sun Peaks for a tour of the inner workings of the resort.

Lastly, funding will support awards for undergraduate students in tourism, events and conventions management, culinary arts, trades and technology and early childhood education programs. The awards will include mentorship opportunities and possible work placements at SPR-owned businesses.

Stacie Coder, SPR’s food and beverage manager and a TRU alum, said she thinks this partnership will be beneficial for everyone involved.

“As a program graduate, I know how important it is to get practical hands-on experience alongside industry mentors to help guide future career development,” she said in the statement.

Doug Booth, the dean of TRU’s faculty of adventure, culinary arts and tourism, said it will be especially beneficial for tourism and hospitality since the industry is still seeing the impact of the pandemic and a lack of staff.

“Those who can demonstrate creativity, initiative and leadership — traits and skills that TRU develops and fosters [will benefit]. We’re thrilled about this mutually beneficial partnership with Sun Peaks Resort.”

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