By Mike Davey
Waterloo, Ontario -- May 3, 2016 -- The Ontario Technological Skills Competition (OTSC) kicked off yesterday at RIM Park in Waterloo, Ontario. This year’s event includes 67 competitions and over 2,100 participants from high schools and colleges across Ontario, making it the largest skilled trades and technologies competition in Canada.
An estimated 20,000 spectators are expected to visit the competition over two days. The Closing Ceremony will take place Wednesday, May 4 at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex. The first day of the OTSC included the Elementary Technology Activity Day. More than 2,500 elementary students came from across the province to participate in workshops and challenges designed to introduce them to various skilled trades. The virtual car painting demonstration proved quite popular with the students. You can see a few of them trying their hand at virtual auto refinish in the gallery below.
Sean Slaven of Arslan Automotive and Hartley Ellis of the Ontario College of Trades ran the autobody repair station during the Elementary Technology Activity Day.
"We had six groups of 20 kids come through during the day," says Slaven. "We gear them up with gloves and the jacket and the helmet and everything, then I show them how to use the spot welder. After they're done welding, they take their piece over to Hartley, who shows them how to use the plasma cutter. They can cut whatever they want into the pieces they've welded."
Slaven has been involved with the OTSC for many years in various capacities. This is the fourth year in a row that he and Ellis have run the demonstrations for elementary students. The demonstration area also features the shell of a vehicle, so Ellis ccould discuss automotive construction with the students.
“Those who compete at the OTSC are the future of skilled trades and technologies in Ontario. We believe there’s no better way for a young person to jump start their career than by providing them the opportunity to tell future employers they are a gold medalist in their field,” says Gail Smyth, Executive Director for Skills Ontario.
The Auto Body Repair and Car Painting competitions take place on Tuesday, May 3. Keep an eye on collisionrepairmag.com for results as they become available. Winners of the OTSC will go on to represent Ontario at the 22nd Annual Skills Canada National Competition, taking place this June in Moncton, New Brunswick. Please visit skillscompetencescanada.com/en/programs/skills-canada-national-competition for more information on the National Competition.