June/July 2007

HR Outlook

Mining outreach to urban youth

By L. Chatigny

For the third year in a row, the Mining in Society Show and Career Fair took place in conjunction with CIM’s annual conference. This year, MIS was held from April 29 to May 1, in Montreal.

The results of a 2006 Ipsos-Reid poll showed that only 17 per cent of young Canadians between the ages of 16 and 35 said they knew about the mining industry. Fourteen per cent said they knew a little and three per cent knew a lot, which is really low, given the significant contributions mining makes to Canada’s economy every year.

That’s where Mining in Society comes in. The show was organized through a partnership between the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) and CIM. The underlying objective of Mining in Society is to change perceptions about the industry and attract more workers to the sector.

This year’s show targeted young adults from high school, CEGEP, college, and university, who are now, or will soon be, deciding what programs they want to take and the career path they wish to follow. MIS welcomed close to 3,000 visitors and the Career Fair, over 4,000, over the three-day period, including students, teachers, parents, and job seekers.

Mining in Society brought visitors on a walk through the mining cycle, with six different pavilions showcasing the various stages of mining: exploration, mining, processing, sustainability, products and fabrication, as well as education.

This year’s show also featured a virtual reality theatre sponsored by Goldcorp and produced by MIRARCO, from Laurentian University in Sudbury. The 3-D presentation brought students down into a mine and showed them first hand what the mining experience is all about. The show also demonstrated the variety of high-technology and high-paying careers that are available in mining.

Over 400 students were brought in by bus from schools in and around the Montreal area for the show. Students participated in the “Amazing Mine Challenge,” designed and delivered by Laura Clinton and her team from Mining Matters at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC). The challenge required participants to complete activities and answer questions at each pavilion and record the information in a passport designed specifically to help youth learn about mining and think about how mining contributes to our daily lives.

All visitors who completed a ballot were eligible for a draw to win prizes, generously donated by sponsors, such as: one custom-designed necklace set with natural gold nuggets designed and provided by Placer Gold; two trips for two to visit the Agnico-Eagle LaRonde Mine in Abitibi, Quebec; one trip with Via  Rail from IAMGOLD; one ounce of gold from Goldcorp; a bicycle, bike helmet and jersey from Louis Garneau; an iPod nano; and a Nintendo DS.

Mining in Society would not have been possible without the participation of countless individuals and organizations that offered their time, resources, and money to make the show a success. Special thanks go to our major sponsors: Alcan, Goldcorp, Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec, PDAC, IOC, IAMGOLD Corporation, GOODKEY Show Services Ltd., and Québec Cartier Mining Company.

Laurie Chatigny is manager of marketing and communications at the Mining Industry Human Resources Council.

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