Mining activities proved to be among the star attractions at Skills Canada Ontario’s 21st annual technological skills competitions held in Waterloo recently. The Ontario Mining Association and a number of member companies were a major part of the event, which attracted more than 30,000 students, teachers and parents. The competition itself saw approximately 1,800 students compete in 63 contest events. One of the main attractions at RIM Park was a 50-t, C$1-million twin-boom jumbo drill, which was provided by Peter Larsen from Sandvik. This impressive piece of underground mining equipment was a hit with students. Tanya Karns and Seline Lemieux from Sandvik helped visitors become more familiar with the high-tech machinery. The mining area featured a simulator for operating the jumbo drill, which often had line-ups of people waiting to test their skills. There were also a number of skills activities correlated with the six mining career paths, which are featured in Skills Canada Ontario’s high school publication. On a special day dedicated to grade 7 and 8 students, six classes from schools in Toronto, Orangeville, Cambridge, Guelph, Mississauga and Kitchener gained a flavour of what it takes to succeed in several mining jobs. Those jobs were production miner, mine technologist, instrumentation and remote control technician, geological technician, environmental technician and health and safety technician.Working with Lesley Hymers from the OMA on these activities were representatives from several OMA member companies. They included Aileen Pajunen and Roger Souckey from Hemlo Mines; Chris Bamberger from Vale; Mike Bartsch and Matthew De Los Santos from Windsor Salt, and; Don Rivera, Drew Dalgleish, Pat O’Connell and Matthias Van De Hoef from Compass Minerals (Sifto Salt). While the OMA was an active participant, it was also gaining recognition for its support of the goals of Skills Canada Ontario. At the awards ceremony, the OMA presented several medals to winners and Peter McBride, OMA Manager of Communications, was presented with the Glenn Beatty Award. This memorial award is given annually “to a volunteer who embodies dedication and passion for Skills Canada Ontario.”Skills Canada Ontario, which opened its doors in 1989, is a not-for-profit organization with a mandate to promote careers in skilled trades and technologies as viable, first-choice employment options for young people in Ontario. More than 600,000 students benefit from the programs and activities Skills Canada Ontario facilitates each year. The organisation works through partnerships with industry, education, labour and government. The OMA is involved in an agreement with Skills Canada Ontario to support the work of liaison officers making presentations in schools, to contribute to the SKILLS WORK! book publication and to promote mining involvement and general awareness of the technological skills competitions. The OMA is pleased to lend a hand to the work of this group in its efforts to let young people know the facts about exciting opportunities that exist in the skilled trades and technologies fields – and mining. Thanks to all of those mentioned above and to their companies for their dedication and enthusiasm, which made the mining area one of the most popular spots to visit during the Skills Canada Ontario’s 21st annual technological skills competition and the national technological skills competition.