New initiative targets students’ interest in tourism careers

High school students looking at careers in tourism now have a new resource to learn more about the industry. The Orange County Visitors Association recently launched its new “Orange County Tourism Workforce Initiative.”

The program debuted recently during a visit to Anaheim High School that featured speakers, videos, career resources and prizes from local attractions, retail outlets and more.

“This is going to be a game changer,” Anaheim Union High School District Supt. Mike Matsuda said in a news release.

students take a photo in front of busA customized transit bus, wrapped with images of tourism industry professionals and the initiative’s tagline, “OC Tourism: Grow Great Careers Here,” was staged on the quad at Anaheim High.

The launch included presentations by young professionals in the tourism industry who shared their educational backgrounds and career paths, short videos by the California State University system on educational opportunities and by OCVA on hospitality industry careers, as well as prize drawings featuring tickets to Knott’s Berry Farm and the OC Fair, along with Star Wars-themed gift bags from Disneyland Resort.

“When you have a dream, when you want to make something happen, you need a lot of support,” Jay Burress, president and CEO of Visit Anaheim and chairman of the initiative, said in the news release.

Initiative partners include the Anaheim Resort Transportation, Visit Anaheim, Best VIP Chauffeured, California State University, California Community Colleges, Orange County Community Resources, Knott’s Berry Farm, Newport Beach & Company,, The OC Fair & Event Center, Travel Costa Mesa, Visit Huntington Beach, The Disneyland Resort, Irvine Retail Properties and South Coast Plaza.