The Skills Ontario Board of Directors announces Gail Smyth’s retirement as Executive Director

Aug 15 2017

Waterloo, Ontario – The Skills Ontario Board of Directors has announced the retirement of Gail Smyth as Executive Director of Skills Ontario. Smyth had planned to retire later this year, but due to medical reasons decided to retire early, after leading the organization for over 20 years.  

Through her tireless work ethic and dedication, Smyth has grown Skills Ontario from a volunteer-run organization to an operation with 27 employees and 12 satellite offices across Ontario. Smyth’s accomplishments as Executive Director of Skills Ontario include advancing Skills Ontario as a leading organization for the promotion of skilled trades and technologies careers to young Ontarians, and becoming an advocate for women in trades and diversity in the workplace. In 1999, the Skills Ontario Young Women’s Initiatives were established; later, Skills Ontario First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Initiatives began in 2011.

One of Smyth’s biggest projects and greatest passions as Executive Director was the Skills Ontario Competition; this past May, Smyth and her team moved the competition to the Toronto Congress Centre in the GTA, after 19 years in Kitchener-Waterloo. Attended by over 30,000 visitors and a record number of 2,200 competitors, the 2017 Skills Ontario Competition was the culmination of Smyth’s vision for continually increasing the reach and accessibility of Skills Ontario programming to youth across the province.

Skills Ontario remains a strong organization whose mission to enable and empower all youth to consider a career in the skilled trades and technologies continues as the new school year approaches.

The Skills Ontario Board of Directors has begun the search for Smyth’s successor. Amrop Knightsbridge has been retained to conduct the recruitment of the new Executive Director. For additional information please contact Chris Sawyer at / 416-640-4312.

About Skills Ontario
Skills Ontario is building Ontario’s skilled trades and technologies workforce.  We enable and empower all youth, including women and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit youth, to consider a career in the skilled trades and technologies. Engagement with students, teachers, parents, volunteers, employers and mentors ensure our programs connect education, experience, and employment. We deliver in-school presentations across Ontario, host Canada’s largest skills competition, run summer camps for skills development and connect students to employers. We are focused on growth sectors such as construction and infrastructure, technology innovation, and hospitality services.

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Media contact

Anne Ramsay
Manager of Communications, Skills Ontario
519-749-9899 x 230

Skills Ontario Board of Directors Contact

Ray Lavender
President of the Board of Directors, Skills Ontario

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