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2014-03-30 at 11:31

Technology conference

By Jodi Lundmark,
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After being laid off from a local forestry company, Todd Patterson decided to go back to college four years ago.

He later graduated from Confederation College's civil engineering technology program and now at age 47, he works for Hatch Mott MacDonald, a consulting engineering firm.

As a mature student, Patterson was taking classes with students much younger than he was and wanted to share his experience in the working world with his classmates.

"From my previous experience, I learned the types of jobs that are out there and what you may potentially end up doing," he said.

"I was hoping to increase networking with technologists in different fields that could come in and mentor people."

So Patterson thought of a career fair for technology students at the college; it was an event that started with one speaker on a Saturday.

On Friday, Confederation College hosted its fourth annual Technology Conference and Career Fair, a much larger event that Patterson attended as an employer recruiting for his firm.

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Patterson was impressed with how the event has grown. The day-long fair featured various guest speakers and companies ready to meet with students in various technology courses.

"We want the students to realize there are opportunities out there and get their interest up," he said, adding the initial fair he helped start four years ago helped him gain employment after college.

"I didn't have much trouble at all finding a job," said Patterson.

The Technology Conference and Career Fair remains a student-run event and this year's vice-chair Shawna Fletcher said having students organize the event makes it easier to appeal to other students.

"I think we can sort of tap into what students are really looking for. From being a student myself, I know sort of what the job market is like," she said.

From engineering to environmental technologists and architecture firms, there was a wide variety of fields represented at the fair and there is a demand in all those areas for people. 

"There's tons of problems all over the world right now and we need professionals to fix them and that's what technologists and engineers are designed to do," said Fletcher.

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