2023 Hospitality Career Fair – A Collaboration Between GMC PCMA, Chicago Public Schools, and Choose Chicago
On Wednesday, November 1, the first Hospitality Career Fair was held at McCormick Place. The engagement witnessed between industry veterans and students throughout the day pleased everyone. In the end we had 35 vendors and over 250 students from 15 high schools, a great turnout for our first year.
We chose to limit the fair to five different areas – hotels, culinary, CVBs, meeting management, and education. Hotels were from all over the city and included large chains and independents. Culinary participants were caterers, restaurants, and restaurant groups. Destination Reps and four different cities represented CVBs, and meeting management included third party meeting planners, DMCs and other resources. We also had four local colleges offering hospitality curricula and GMC PCMA.
Feedback from some of the suppliers included, “Responding the students’ questions and opening their eyes to what’s possible,” was something they enjoyed the most about the event. They were also excited about, “The optimism in the air – positive and energetic!”
Chicago Public Schools has a vibrant culinary program in place and our objective was to expose students to other opportunities in our industry. Next year we will begin planning earlier and will add other career options such as décor, entertainment, exhibit services, venues, shipping, security, speakers and more. We will also investigate opportunities for round tables or other discussion formats.
If you have any questions or would like to volunteer to be on the planning team, please reach out to Patty Olejnik ([email protected]) or Barb Thavis ([email protected]).
A big thank you to our sponsors: