[p]Norfolk, VA - Last year, Stephanie Evans attended her school's career fair in hopes of finding a job. This year, she is returning to the event, but this time, it's to look for prospective employees.[/p]
[p]Evans graduated from ECPI University's Culinary Institute of Virginia (CIV) in 2010 with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Culinary Arts and is now a general manager for the Kelly's Tavern restaurant chain, which has 11 sites in Hampton Roads.[/p]
"It's exciting to come back to this event a year later and to be on the other side of the table, offering career opportunities," says Evans, 25, a Newport News resident. "I'm looking to fill several positions."
According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurants added jobs at a +1.7% rate in the 12 months ending August 2011, compared to +1.0% for the overall economy. The demand for workers is evident as up to 40 companies and several hundred students are expected to participate in CIV's Career Fair on Wednesday, October 12, a significant increase from the 15 companies and several dozen students who attended the school's first such event five years ago. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Aramark Food Service, Walt Disney World, Wintergreen Resort and local restaurants such as Kelly's are among the employers attending.
"Our recruitment strategy is to draw from local, regional and national culinary schools, but often with a focus on people who know the local cuisine and are in close proximity," says Rhys Lewis, Executive Chef of the Williamsburg Lodge at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. "Currently we have five CIV student externs, six graduates on staff and we will be looking to add to that number. The school prepares its graduates well and it continues to invest in instruction and programs."
CIV has four full-time career advisors and has been holding career fair and resume workshops to help the students reap the most benefit from the fair. CIV's externship program enables students to gain experience in the food service industry while still in school, which can provide the first link to landing a job.
"CIV provided me with great tools and resources while I was in school there," Evans says. "It remains a resource now, but in a new way, as I rely on them to connect me with upcoming talent."
The CIV Career Fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12 on-site at 2428 Almeda Ave. in Norfolk. A brunch will be prepared by the school's students, along with a large birthday cake to celebrate the institute's fifth anniversary. The media is welcome to attend.
Andy Gladstein is the Campus Director for CIV in Norfolk.
"We've seen many of the same employers return each year, along with a growing number of new firms," Gladstein says. "The event really connects students with industry and offers a benefit for both. The fair is very efficient for employers in that they can meet 15-20 candidates in a two-hour span, and it gives students the chance to see the diversity of job opportunities available in foodservice."
For more information or to attend the graduation and interview CIV staff, graduates and employers, contact Scott McCaskey at Goldman & Associates at: email@example.com or at 757-625-2518.
About The Culinary Institute of Virginia
Culinary Institute of Virginia, the School of Culinary Arts at ECPI College of Technology, opened for enrollment in fall 2006. Graduates can earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in culinary science in less than two years. The curriculum offers a European educational model that combines classroom instruction with hands-on externships in the community. For information call 757-858-CHEF or visit the Culinary Institute of Virginia
About ECPI University
ECPI University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, and masters degrees and diploma programs. With campuses in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, ECPI, a private university established in 1966, offers convenient classes during the day, evening, and online; graduate employment services are provided. Continuing education certification classes and testing are also available.
ECPI's fields of study include:
- Cloud Computing (Bachelor's Degree)
- Database Programming (Bachelor's Degree)
- Electronics Engineering (Bachelor's Degree)
- Healthcare IT (Bachelor's Degree)
- Mechanical Engineering Technology (Bachelor's Degree)
- Mechatronics (Bachelor's Degree)
BUSINESS AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
(Program field availability varies by campus.) For more information, visit http://www.ecpi.edu