Sheridan Skills Ontario students on stage at the closing ceremony to accept their awards

Six medals for Sheridan students at the 30th-annual Skills Ontario Competition

May 9, 2019
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Sheridan students took home six medals in five categories at the closing ceremony of the Skills Ontario Competition, hosted at the Toronto Congress Centre from May 6 to 8. The result matches Sheridan’s record for total number of medals won at the provincial skills showcase and is the first year students from programs outside the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology stood on the podium.

The annual event draws 20,000 people over three days including 2,000 postsecondary competitors in 68 categories. It’s designed to spotlight the skilled trades and technologies as viable, first-choice career options to Ontario youth. This year Sheridan had 20 student competitors qualify for competition.    

In the Industrial Mechanic Millwright (IMM) category, Sheridan apprentices Brandon Walker and Scott Powless were awarded a gold and bronze medal, respectively. Winners in this category are offered employment from Skills Ontario partner Magna International – a Canadian global automotive supplier. Also in the skilled trades, Benjamin Heffer, studying in the Mechanical Technician – Tool Making program, won a silver medal for Precision Machining.

Robotic arm chocolate dispenser at the Sheridan booth

From Sheridan’s School of Applied Computing, Robert Winger, studying in the Computer Systems Technology - Software Development and Network Engineering program, won a gold medal for Web Design and Development.

Representing the Pilon School of Business for the first time at the competition, Ashley Marshall from Office Administration - Executive won a bronze medal in IT Office Software Application category. Also a Sheridan first, Marc Santos from the Honours Bachelor of Photography program from the Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design won a bronze medal.

Elsewhere at the competition, Sheridan displayed various projects at its exhibitor booth including a hovercraft, a Rubik’s Cube-solving robot and a race track operated by a hand crank. Attendees could participate in a virtual reality architecture experience and get chocolate squares dispensed by a robotic arm. The Skills Ontario judging committee awarded Sheridan with second place in its Large Booth category.  

Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology, Vertha Coligan, saw first-hand the dedication of Sheridan students and their coaches throughout the competition. “I’m so proud of Sheridan’s efforts at this year’s competition,” she says. “Not only did we send the biggest contingent of competitors ever to this year’s event, but our students’ medal haul and the recognition of our Sheridan booth proves our excellence in innovation and skills development.”   

Coaches play a significant role in preparing the students for the competition. It’s one thing to attain the skills to be successful in their respective fields of study, and another to compete in that field under pressure in front of hundreds of onlookers. Mentors like Craig Brazil, Professor of IMM, knows well what it takes to excel in this environment. He’s the IMM Skill Competition Manager for Worldskills and year-after-year, his student competitors perform well because of their diligent preparation.  

Later this month, Skills Canada takes place in Halifax, Nova Scotia. With two gold medal wins at Skills Ontario, students Walker and Winger will represent Sheridan on the national stage as members of Team Ontario.

Pictured above left: Robotic arm dispensing chocolates to Skills Ontario Competition attendees at Sheridan's booth. 

Pictured top right: Industrial Mechanic Millwright award winners standing on a podium at the Skills Ontario Competition closing ceremony. On the left is Sheridan bronze medal winner Scott Powless and in the centre is gold medal winner Brandon Walker.

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