District of Houston seeks intern


The District of Houston could host a public sector trainee next year provided its successful in obtaining a grant.

The $50,000 grant would come from the Prince George-based Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) and the District has approved of spending a required additional $17,000 for the intern’s one-year term.

An intern would mentored by District staffers with the person revolving through the District’s various departments such as finance, corporate services, economic development, planning and leisure services. Work experience would not include duties covered by the District’s collective agreements.

“The program provides a high level of professional development and training to prepare recent graduates for a career in local government, while supporting capacity building and succession preparation in northern communities,” wrote District chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck in a memo to council.

Of the $50,000 from the NDIT, $35,000 would be for the intern’s salary and that would be topped up with $10,000 of the District’s contribution, an amount that would cover either a 10-day vacation period or four per cent in vacation pay. The District would also contribute approximately $7,000 for the Canada Pension Plan and other statutory deductions.

The NDIT’s remaining $15,000 would take the form of a $10,000 housing allowance and $5,000 for travel costs for professional development.

Council approved of the $17,000 expenditure at its Dec. 15 meeting. If successful, an intern would start May 1 of next year.

The District currently has several staffers who were interns of the program. Chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck interned with the City of Quesnel in 2014-2015, communications officer Holly Brown interned with the District here in 2018 and Jessica Bagnall, the District’s former corporate services director who is now the corporate officer with the North Coast regional district, was an intern with the Town of Smithers in 2017-2018.