The engineers driving the Train in Technology Career Expo gathered at Georgian College's downtown campus Monday to preview the upcoming event at the Barrie Molson Centre.
The Tech Expo is a partnership between the cities of Barrie and Orillia, the County of Simcoe, Georgian College and the Simcoe County District School Board.
It brings together employers and schools to give hands on opportunities for students from elementary up to post-secondary as well as members of the public a chance to experience how technology is used in career settings.
Exhibitors will showcase careers from digital media to design to advanced manufacturing and robotics.
New this year will be a career fair on site from 3-6 p.m.
"We're really sort of upping the game. This is going to be the largest Train in Technology," said Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman. "It is about showing young people the careers of the future in Barrie."
The symbolism of the preview event for the Expo being held at the new Arch and Helen Brown Design and Digital Arts Centre was not lost on Georgian College's President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes.
The building was once a Woolworth's store.
"When Woolworth's was here, I don't even know if we put digital and media together in the same way. In essence that's what we want to promote. Technology is really what makes it," said West-Moynes.
"This Expo that we're having is such a great opportunity for individuals to see what we didn't see before. To start understanding where the world has changed and perhaps, if you're interested in a career or you are an employer, an opportunity to put someone who wants a job together with someone who needs the talented, skilled individual."
Orillia Mayor Steve Clarke highlighted the significant impact of autonomous cars on the insurance industry as an example of the importance technology.
"It's upon us. This is why the Train in Tech event is a great and necessary event," said Clarke, then referring to both himself and Mayor Lehman. "We both know the face of business is being altered. We are both grateful as we have some traditional industries within our communities but as Bob Dylan said quite a number of years ago, 'The times they are a changing' and we need to be prepared."
David Fitt, of the SCDSB's Technological Education Sustainability and Renewal sector also spoke at the preview along with Steve Loftus, owner of Innovative Automation, a company that builds robotic machinery at a facility in Barrie's south end.
Innovative Automation has been in business for around 30 years and will be an exhibitor at the expo.
"It's absolutely critical that the young people getting into these trades are better educated, have better methods to anaylize and understand the data that they're generating," Loftus said. "It's what this community needs as a whole to keep us ahead on a global platform because we are now competing globally."
For more information about the 2018 Train In Technology Expo on Mar. 27 visit www.trainintech.com.