December 2, 2021

Lots to see at Showcase

Annual event offers look at businesses, organizations

Shenandoah Briere/contributing photographer

Megan Porter, 17, uses a virtual realty set to try the NAVIO Robotics-Assisted Surgery system Saturday at the Cayuga Medical Health booth during The Showcase at the J.M. McDonald Sport Complex in Cortlandville.

Megan Porter picked up the surgical tool and got to work going through the steps to perform knee surgery.

It wasn’t a real surgery, but rather Porter was using a virtual reality set to simulate the use of the NAVIO Robotics-Assisted Surgery systems.

She, like many others, had gotten the chance to see how the NAVIO System worked on Saturday at the Cayuga Medical Health booth during The Showcase at the J.M. McDonald Sports Complex in Cortlandville. The opportunity solidified Porter’s career aspiration of working in the medical field.

“We came here a couple years ago and they had a laparoscopic surgery simulator and ever since I’ve been researching the medical field,” she said. “I’ve been looking into surgery and after this it makes me want to research this more.”

Formerly called The Business Showcase, The Showcase is in its 35th year, said Cortland County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bob Haight The rebranding came out of discussions that began at last year’s event of how to better reflect the wide array of community agencies and services that are represented at The Showcase, not just businesses.

Visitors to The Showcase learned about new restaurants and manufacturers expanding, saw karate and gymnastic presentations, and found out which businesses are hiring. People also picked up business cards, played games for prizes, entered raffles and got other trinkets organizations were handing out. All 90 booths were filled, although some organizations like Guthrie Cortland Medical Center occupied more than one.

People looking for jobs were also allowed in for free if they brought their resume and balloons marked which businesses were hiring.

Diane Wheaton, employment and training director for Cortland Works said the idea came about during talks with the Chamber of Commerce.

“This was a chance for us to connect the job seeker with the business that needs employees,” Wheaton said.

Dave Smith, of Preble, was taking his time walking around and checking out each organization and business. He stopped to talk to Dragon Solar LLC, based in Cortland.

“I’d like to get solar, but probably won’t,” he said, noting financial reasons.

Samantha Pickert watched as her 6-year-old son Kayden Jebbett drew with a marker on his flower pot full of dirt and vegetable seed before getting it tied up in a bag for safe keeping.

The family had stopped at the Asthma and Allergy Associated table at The Showcase.

“He came last year with his grandparents and he had so much fun,” Pickert said. “I came when I was a kid, so it’s kind of a tradition.”