The first-ever Wake County Restaurant and Hotel Job Fair will take place at the Raleigh Convention Center from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Wednesday, March 28. The inaugural event is a partnership between the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association, Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Raleigh), Capital Area Workforce Development and the Raleigh Convention Center. The job fair will feature nearly 80 hospitality industry employers looking to fill more than 3,500 full- and part-time positions.
“One of the largest issues the hospitality industry faces is finding qualified talent to fill open positions, which is growing at a rapid rate,” said NCRLA President & CEO Lynn Minges. “Wake County is home to more than 1,200 restaurants and 150-plus lodging accommodations, with another seven hotels currently under construction and 19 hotel projects in the final planning stages. These businesses accommodate 15 million visitors a year. We must ensure our hospitality businesses are fully staffed to provide guests with the best experience, generating repeat customers.”
“The hospitality and tourism industry employs more than 63,000 people in Wake County, which accounts for roughly 10 percent of the local workforce. Further, the industry has been adding 800 new jobs per year since 2009 and is expected to grow by 9 percent over the next five years,” said Dennis Edwards, president and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Raleigh). “Finding quality talent to fill these jobs has become an issue, as demand for jobs has grown. Our goal with this collaborative initiative is to address the workforce shortage our restaurants, hotels, attractions and service providers are experiencing while sustaining and fostering the growth expected.”
Job fair attendance is free for job seekers. Vouchers will be provided for free parking at the Raleigh Convention Center Underground Parking Deck. To access, use the entrance on W. Lenoir Street between Fayetteville and S. Salisbury streets. Free transportation is being provided by GoTriangle and GoRaleigh. Job seekers traveling to the job fair will be able to pull-up a free transit pass on their mobile device and/or print by visiting GoRaleigh.org/workforce.
“We hope anyone looking for work will come out to this job fair. The full-time career growth opportunities within the hospitality and tourism sector have long made it very attractive to people with varying levels of educational and training backgrounds. We also know many people today are supplementing their incomes with secondary jobs and the tourism and hospitality sector is also great for that,” said Pat Sturdivant, Executive Director at Capital Area Workforce Development. “This is an excellent event for learning about careers in the restaurant and hospitality sector from big brands like Marriott down to small, local businesses alike. We’re honored to be bringing this first-of-its-kind job fair to Wake County and hope people take advantage of this unique opportunity at what is an exciting time of need for the industry here locally.”
A ribbon cutting ceremony and media photo opportunity will take place at 9:50 a.m. just outside the doors of Ballroom A at the Raleigh Convention Center before the event opens at 10 a.m. Wake County Commissioner Jessica Holmes will be attending the ribbon cutting ceremony along with representatives from NCRLA, Capital Area Workforce Development, and Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.
More information on attending the job fair and a complete list of employers seeking to fill positions, can be found at VisitRaleigh.com/JobFair.