November 2009

Mentoring the next generation of industry leaders

The Sudbury Branch has a long tradition of supporting youth

By A. Tonnos


Adam Tonnos (left) alongside Lauren Flett (Laurentian University) and John Sagman (MEMO 2010 Technical Committee) during Student Oyster night

Mining has a strong presence in Northern Ontario — especially in the Sudbury region. Without a doubt, the future of the industry in our community will remain viable for many generations to come.

While no one can dispute the challenges resulting from a weak global economy, CIM’s Sudbury Branch is optimistic that the mining sector will rebound and revitalize. The current downswing should certainly not discourage young people from considering a career in the industry, because mining will always be a key economic driver of the North. In fact, as the market improves, there will be a shortage of skilled workers over the next decade.

Educational support

With a mandate of fostering growth in the mining industry, the CIM Sudbury Branch is keen on mentoring mining’s future leaders by financially supporting local educational initiatives. For example, the branch contributes to the annual regional science fair, which enables the winning students to participate in national competitions. It is also a longstanding sponsor of the Sudbury Mining Week annual mining skills competitions for elementary and secondary school students. These activities all help to enlighten youth at an early age about exciting careers in the industry.

The branch also awards bursaries for higher learning to students at Laurentian University, Cambrian College and Collège Boréal, and supports Laurentian University’s national Mining Games team. Congratulations again to LU for earning top prize at the 2009 competition!

The Rainbow District School Board’s Specialist High Skills Major programs have received financial assistance for their mining programs at area high schools. The CIM Sudbury Branch also regularly supplies mining books and activity kits for school libraries, and purchases alternative fuel combustion engines for the primary school pre-apprenticeship training program.

Local membership activities

General membership meetings are held monthly from September to April. These events are highlighted by keynote speakers, including CIM Distinguished Lecturers. Local college and university students look forward to October’s Student Oyster Night, where they have the opportunity to rub shoulders with representatives from area mines, suppliers and related businesses and organizations.

Every June, the branch hosts the ever-popular lobster dinner and dance, and the annual Rudolph Kneer Memorial Golf Tournament is always sold out long before the August tourney.  Social events like these are the perfect opportunity for CIM members to build community awareness, network with colleagues and clients, and enjoy some serious camaraderie.

MEMO 2010

The CIM Sudbury Branch is particularly proud to host the next Maintenance Engineering/ Mine Operators (MEMO) Conference on October 24-27, 2010. The organizing committee is well into planning, and looks forward to a successful conference and trade show.

Social networking tools

As CIM National continues to revitalize its web presence to better serve the needs of members and create a sense of unity within the branch structure, part of this proactive endeavour is the introduction of a social network platform. The Sudbury Branch is particularly interested in the benefits of this phenomenon to CIM as a whole.

Raised as a possibility during the CIM Conference and Exhibition 2009 in Toronto, the idea led to the establishment of a working group to investigate a suitable approach. Social networking is an opportunity to leverage online sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to attract new members and retain the spirit of networking, knowledge sharing and professional development between the CIM annual general meetings. Mining professionals, industry and academia, suppliers and buyers, students and employers can all connect regularly in this way, creating a means to further strengthen our industry. As plans unfold, branches can look forward to being invited to participate in CIM social networking groups in the future.

CIM’s Sudbury Branch is proud to make a difference in the community, as well as at the CIM National level, through the commitment of the branch executive and the dedicated participation of its active membership.

Adam Tonnos is chair of the CIM Sudbury Branch.

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