The first-annual Tourism & Hospitality Career Fair hosted by the Okanagan Chefs Association was held at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus this past Sunday.
More than a dozen employers were in attendance including restaurants, wineries, hotels and tourism organizations.
“It was great to see the representation from the Okanagan Chefs Association, Okanagan College and then all the vendors valley wide. Coming all the way from Osoyoos, Oliver and right through Kelowna,” said Chef Bernard Casavant, Okanagan College’s Culinary Manager.
“There was a lot of face-to-face connections made. It is always nice when potential employees can meet the employer face to face. They get a quick interview there and then they can set up a formal interview for hiring later.”
Casavant said the event was not just for cooks, servers and hostesses, but also for managers, housekeeping staff, tasting-room staff, winery workers etc.
“Right across the gamut of food and wine tourism.”
While the event was created to specifically connect employers with potential employees, Casavant said the sunshine did put a damper on the number of connections made.
“Unfortunately the attendance of potential employees wasn’t that great, from a participant point of view, because it was the first nice Sunday we’ve had a long time,” said Casavant.
He said organizers discovered that they should have held the event earlier in the spring.
“It was too late in the season, we were already too late for employees looking for work,” said Casavant.
“So next year we will do it end of February – early March.”