Ontario students prepare to compete in Olympics-style skills competition
March 31, 2012 | By Manufacturing AUTOMATION
The world of skilled trades and technologies is wide-ranging and diverse, and nowhere is this more apparent than at the annual Ontario Technological Skills Competition (OTSC), an exciting display of 63 careers demonstrated simultaneously under one roof.
Occupying Waterloo’s sprawling RIM Park and Manulife Sportsplex on May 1, the OTSC covers 340,000 square feet of contest areas. Skills Canada-Ontario staff, along with an army of volunteers and sponsors, pull off this feat of preparation so that 1,900 young competitors from across the province have the opportunity to show off their skills in everything from plumbing to metalworking to landscaping to 3D character animation.
Working kitchens are set up in the arenas’ former ice pads, as are metalworking and engine shops, salons and HVAC areas. The facility’s gymnasium is turned into a sea of computers and sewing machines, while its Field House and huge outdoor tents accommodate the young cabinetmakers, carpenters and electricians who will create impressive “real-world” projects. It is a memorable experience for the competitors and the 30,000 visitors who will come to cheer them on.
Skills Canada-Ontario has been hosting this Olympics-style skilled trades competition for 23 years. The OTSC also features a Career Exploration Showcase, with 60 interactive exhibit booths from industry, education and government. There is no charge for visitors to attend the event, the largest of its kind in Canada.
Winners of gold, silver and bronze medals will be announced at the closing ceremonies at Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex on May 2, 2012. Top competitors will also be in line for several monetary awards sponsored by industry and professional associations. Competitors who win gold in most of the OTSC contests will advance to the Skills Canada National Competition in Edmonton, May 13-16, 2012.