Economic development partners from across Simcoe County and the District of Muskoka are calling on local businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs from the skilled trades to participate as exhibitors in the 2018 edition of the Simcoe Muskoka Skilled Trades Expo at the Elmvale Community Arena on May 17.

The call for exhibitors follows very successful expos in 2016 and 2017, which garnered provincial, national and international awards—including the International Economic Development Council Excellence in Economic Development Award in their special events category.

“These awards are a tremendous honour and demonstrate our regional leadership in promoting our skilled trades and supporting our labour market,” said Simcoe County Warden Gerry Marshall. “We look forward to making this event bigger and better this year with a live job fair during the evening session and we encourage our skilled trades partners to sign up and help us grow this important sector.”

The 2018 event will feature two sessions: a student-school session for Grades 7 and 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a session geared for the general public from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The early session will provide students with the opportunity to participate in hands-on demonstrations and interactive displays relating to dozens of skilled trades available in Simcoe County and Muskoka. The evening session will provide residents of all ages with an opportunity to learn more about area businesses and career opportunities in the skilled trades. New this year, the evening event will feature a live job fair, which will provide participating businesses an opportunity to meet and interview skilled tradespeople during the event. The 2017 expo was attended by about 2,500 students from around Simcoe County who were introduced to more than 35 skilled trades.

There is no cost to participate as an exhibitor or attend the event. Businesses and organizations interested in participating as exhibitors showcasing skilled trades are asked to register by May 4. Contact Kendall Scott at 705-726-9300 ext. 1651 or email edo@simcoe.ca.

Regional partners celebrate the success of the Simcoe Muskoka Skilled Trades Expo. Top (l-r): Bill French, county councillor; Steve Blake, Simcoe County District School Board director of education; (middle) Lonnie Bolton, Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board superintendent of education; Peter Dyck, City of Barrie business development officer; Judith Johnston, Simcoe Muskoka Workforce Development Board project facilitator/office manager; Rob Shepard, Simcoe Muskoka Workforce Development Board project facilitator; (bottom) Susan Laycock,  Simcoe Muskoka Workforce Development Board executive director; Gerry Marshall, County of Simcoe warden; Marlene Lambie, Flos Agricultural Society.