May 30, 2024


Students sawing a log as fast as they could, hammers pounding and drills drilling were all part of various competitions in the wood shop at the Waterloo campus.

Tool companies, Conestoga College trades and apprenticeship program students and faculty gathered at the Fifth Annual Tool and Trades Expo Nov. 19.

Those who took part in the competitions were eligible to win prizes donated by some of the vendors after ballots were drawn at the end of the day.

Industry suppliers at the event included DeWalt, Milwaukee, Hilti and Stanley.

Ashley Tanner, a first-year construction techniques student who dropped into the event, said students don’t get to use a lot of these tools in class so it’s a great opportunity to play with different tools and have the vendors explain how to properly use them.

“It’s useful because it gives the students more exposure to different companies and what the different tools can do,” she said.

David Orsini, a sales rep from Charles Jones Industrial Limited, helps bring in the vendors and suppliers each year.

He said, “We don’t look at it like a sales type of thing, we don’t do any sales on site. It’sjust so the students can have some hands-on with the different tools, they can talk to the various vendors and see what’s new.”

Sasha Tkachenko is one of three event management students who helped plan the event.

She said she has never taken part in a tool and trades show before but she was eager to be part of putting together the show.

“I saw it as kind of a challenge and I’m really excited about it.”

Tkachenko also said she was pleased to see the crowds of people who stopped by the event.

Doug Lockston, a faculty member in the trades and apprenticeship program in Waterloo who helped co-ordinate the event, said, “There’s between 400 and 500 students who will come through here today. A lot of the vendors are repeat vendors because they know they’ve got a very select crowd that is going to be going out in the industry.”

Trades students who came to the event included those going into plumbing, welding, construction and carpentry.

Tanner said, “I think this (expo) is a good idea and it’s helpful to students. I would like to see more companies here.”

Orsini said he looks forward to the expos in upcoming years.

“It’s fabulous. It gets bigger and bigger every year, more and more vendors, more and more enthusiasm to do the show. We get a lot of support from the vendors and it’s very much appreciated.”