Employers get into the Olympic spirit

B.C., Rona and Bell to pay workers who volunteer at 2010 Games

To answer the call for 25,000 volunteers, several employers are offering to pay workers who volunteer at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C.

Home-improvement chain Rona, which is also a Games sponsor, will offer 100 model employees an all-expenses-paid trip to volunteer at the Olympics. Employees who have more than two years experience can apply for the special volunteer initiative, said a Rona spokesperson.

The B.C. government will select 200 employees to volunteer and the government will cover half of their salaries during the Games. Unlike the Rona employees, however, B.C. public servants will have to pay for their own accommodation and travel.

Bell Canada will be bringing 400 paid technology volunteers to the Olympics to help run telecommunications at all venues. Other staff will be able volunteer but will have to pay their own way.

Other Games sponsors, such as Telus and the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, are encouraging employees to use their vacation time to volunteer at the Games.

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