HIEC connects generations and event attendees through technology
at Spring Breakfast with the Mayors

June 27/2011 Article PDF

HALTON, ON The Halton Industry Education Council's (HIEC) Spring Breakfast with the Mayors went interactive on Thursday, June 23, 2011 as attendees at the OE Banquet Hall were instructed to keep their phones turned on. Inspired by keynote speaker Max Valiquette's presentation, titled 'The Conversation', the audience took to Twitter throughout the morning, tweeting about their favorite HIEC experiences and about the event itself. Joining in the conversation was Mayor Rick Goldring, Regional Chair Gary Carr and other representatives from the Halton community who welcomed attendees to the bi-annual event. The breakfast celebrates business, education and community partnerships in Halton and also acts as a springboard to encourage local employers to get involved in inspiring our future workforce.

After encouraging the audience to get connected, HIEC spotlighted its Connecting Generations Through Technology program, which serves as an opportunity for elementary school students to connect with local seniors while learning about video production and computer technology. Supported by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Initiative and Apple Canada, this program is one of HIEC's many initiatives that focus on intergenerational mentorship. Grade 5/6 student participants from the program spoke at the event about their experiences.

'My favourite thing about all of this was learning about my senior partner's life and making it into an iMovie,' said Fiona, from Gardiner Public School. 'Thank you HIEC for choosing our class to do this program.'

The students helped unveil a video chronicling the program from start to finish. 'I am so happy that I came that day to do this,' said Annette, a senior participant featured in the video. 'I think it was an amazing project.' The video highlighted the value of partnerships in our community and the importance of intergenerational mentorships programs.

HIEC then recognized two long-time supporters with the presentation of Partnership Awards. Both Rick MacDonald, retiring Superintendent of Education from the Halton Catholic District School Board, and Ruth Peden, retired Associate Director from the Halton District School Board, received the honour for their commitment to inspiring informed career decisions and their work on HIEC's Board of Directors.

Sponsored by Cogeco Cable Inc., this year's keynote speaker was Youth Culture & Marketing Expert, Max Valiquette. With a combination of humour and relevant information, Max presented on the world of The Conversation examining the changing role of communications and how best to connect to a consumer that is more in demand and more in control than ever before.

'Whether you want to be part of it or not, it's happening. So the first rule is to learn the basics of the conversation,' said Max. 'If you want to know how to enter into the conversation of social media, you must first begin thinking like a digital native thinking like a young person. That's rule number one. And the second rule is that everything happens immediately and everything happens now.'

Aside from the social media and mentorship themes at the event, HIEC's core message throughout was encouraging the community to get involved in education and providing real-life experiences to Halton's future workforce. Participation can range from offering a co-op placement at your workplace, attending one of HIEC's mentoring events or sponsorship. To learn more about how you can get involved, visit www.hiec.on.ca.


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