The Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation is a 93,000 sq. ft. building on Humber’s north campus, and its aim is to mobilize the power of fresh ideas, new technologies and entrepreneurial thinking to help businesses and students succeed.

Project manager Elizabeth Hibbert said the purpose of the Barrett CTI was “formed to bring together students, faculty and everyone in between to inspire innovation, support skills and development, science, technology, engineering along with math and art outreach with industry and community partners.”

Toronto reportedly added approximately 10,000 technology jobs in 2019 according to the City of Toronto’s annual employment survey.

The Barrett CTI is an important resource for all technology students because there are “lots of opportunities for students to work on major year-end projects and/or applied research projects that involve industry and faculty,” said Hibbert. There are also rooms specifically designed to support electromechanical and electronics students with their skills competitions.

“There is a big skills gap specifically in manufacturing which is why faculty, industry and students are coming together and Barrett CTI is the hub,” Hibbert said.

Jonathan Kim, associate dean of applied sciences and technology at Humber College said that all technology programs go through the same learning process to be successful in the working world.

“Students gain knowledge for the real world by hands-on and project-based learning, applied research and co-op work terms,” said Kim.

Kim also said that Toronto is a core city for new and emerging technologies especially in artificial intelligence.

“The demand for a workforce with relevant skills and knowledge is very high and the trend will continue. Toronto is the world’s fastest growing destination for high-tech jobs.”

Kim sees fields such as green technologies for environment and food technology for tech-based nutrition and production are “important sectors that will alleviate the challenges we face in our society,” said Kim.

David Kobayashi is a building technology and sustainable energy professor at Humber College, and said that all students will need the same skills regardless of what technology sector they enter.

“Students that graduate from the building technology and sustainable energy program are prepared for a number of different jobs, but building automation is common in almost all of them. Understanding IP (Internet protocol) networks and basic programming are all necessities,” Kobayashi said.