It's no secret that many of the individual companies that comprise the foodservice equipment industry have struggled in finding individuals interested in pursuing a career in our corner of the world. And the many members of the Commercial Food Equipment Service Association are no exception.
Over the years, the service agencies that comprise our association have found it challenging to attract trained technicians to repair commercial cooking and refrigeration equipment. The simple fact of the matter is unless you grew up in this industry, it's highly unlikely that you dreamt of pursuing a career in it. That's why our members felt we needed to take action to broaden the appeal of employment in all aspects of the foodservice equipment industry, including service, sales, manufacturing, marketing, design and operations. More to the point, we realized in order for younger people, as well as those individuals interested in an alternate profession, to find us, we first had to find them during a time when they are exploring career options.
In moving forward, we opted to take two specific steps. The first initiative aims to build general awareness of all the foodservice industry brings to the table and showcases this information in a visually appealing, easy-to-access manner. To accomplish this, we produced a video entitled “Careers in Foodservice — A Solid Choice.”
The video explores the foodservice industry as an ever-changing and -evolving community, which offers job security and benefits that appeal to a wide audience.
Equally as important as the video itself are the methods of distribution we employ to spread the word about careers in the commercial foodservice industry. That's why we took the step of posting the video online, using multiple sources including YouTube and MySpace. By doing so, we received exposure to countless individuals we might not have reached and positioned the industry as being progressive.
Our industry needs to provide the educational component necessary to be successful. To this end, CFESA is excited to offer a training curriculum package.
Working with a professional group of technical writers, we have completed a training course for use in vocational, technical and community colleges in the specific areas of gas, electricity and steam commercial cooking equipment repair. The complete coursework associated with this training course is approximately 200 hours or a six-week study.
As part of the program, students learn the fundamental aspects associated with all corners of the foodservice equipment industry. This includes safety, equipment testing, reading diagrams, troubleshooting and parts replacement.
The initial feedback from our efforts has been very positive and we've learned much along the way. Our hope for sharing these experiences is to encourage others throughout the industry to become more proactive in sharing their experiences and expertise in bringing new and bright minds to the commercial foodservice equipment sector. By doing so, we will all profit and prosper together.