Conference focuses on developing the soft skills set behind hard-rock mining: Mining Engagement Conference for Advancement will welcome people to Sudbury this fall.

AuthorKelly, Lindsay

Sudbury is renowned for its expertise in hard rock mining. Now the city is looking to take a softer approach to the industry.

This fall, Sudbury will host the Mining Engagement Conference for Advancement (MECA) Symposium being held Oct. 9-11, 2019, in conjunction with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM).

Theresa Nyabeze, a co-chair of the event, said the one-day, two-night event will veer away from the technical aspects of the industry to focus on the importance of soft skills and how to develop them.

"A lot of people, as they get into the workplace, you find out that your technical (expertise) is good to know, but really the interactions with people are what helps you show up as your best self at work, as well as being able to really have a positive experience that you can take back into the community," said Nyabeze, a mining engineer with Vale's Sudbury operations.

Soft skills refer to things like communication, teamwork and problem solving--traits that aren't directly related to one position, but can be transferred between roles.

Nyabeze noted more people are talking about social skills on discussion platforms like LinkedIn, and there's been a notable increase in awareness about mental health issues and how they can impact the workplace.

"I really do believe that idea of how you show up at work and how you experience the workplace has an impact on your mental health, and how you're able to really contribute to teams and just be your full self with all the knowledge that you can bring to the table," Nyabeze said.

During the MECA Symposium, a series of workshops will explore topics such as Why Distress Tolerance Matters, Connecting with People Through Engaging Conversations, and Influence without...

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