Jobs Plus Inc., the Coeur d’Alene area economic development corporation, has awarded North Idaho College’s Graphic Design program a one-time investment of $6,000 and established a grant that will sponsor two scholarships totaling $4,000 annually.
When Job Plus needed a new website, it didn’t have to look far.
“I’d seen some of the work instructor Philippe Valle and his NIC group had done,” said Bruce Cyr, Jobs Plus treasurer and Jacklin Land Company manager. “They’re award-winning students already; they’re a top-notch program to start with. Now, they’re going to develop an award-winning website for us.”
Several local companies, Panhandle State Bank, Avista Corp., Empire Airlines, Mountain West Bank and Kootenai Health, contributed the $6000 to Jobs Plus for the NIC grant. The $6,000 will be used to purchase capital equipment and technology to be used specifically to support the needs of the graphic design program. Jobs Plus will also donate $4,000 annually to the NIC Foundation, which will use the funds as scholarships for up to two students a year who will design, support and maintain the new Jobs Plus website.
“We were looking for the creativity that the NIC students have. The website needs to be alive and dynamic and be a place that people and business owners want to go to,” Cyr said.
The Jobs Plus mission is to attract new businesses to the area. The corporation recently revamped its marketing approach by changing its previous website to “relocatetoidaho.org,” Cyr said, and the new partnership allows NIC students to showcase their talents while providing Jobs Plus with a much-needed service.
“We teach practical and relevant skills. This puts our students in a real-life situation and prepares them for jobs when they graduate,” said Valle, who instructs NIC’s Graphic Design students. “At the end of the day, what we teach is real -- it’s practical. Those students will get jobs in their field because they will have a proven track record that is highly visible.”
The NIC Graphic Design program is also offering a free seminar to interested high schools students. “Everything You Want to Know About Running a Graphic Design Business But Were Afraid to Ask” will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 4 at the NIC Workforce Training Center in Riverbend Commerce Park.