VHH CAREER CONNECTIONS DAY

WEDNESDAY MARCH 16 | 10 AM - 3:30 PM | PA FARM SHOW COMPLEX & EXPO CENTER | HARRISBURG, PA

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Wednesday, March 16 | 10 AM to 3:30 PM | PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center | Harrisburg, PA

*Register by Wednesday, March 9

Careers in the tourism industry are dynamic, engaging, rewarding, and fun! Visit Hershey & Harrisburg invites college students and recent graduates join us for a day of purposeful connections with professionals in Hospitality Management and Sports Tourism fields. We're collaborating with the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality at Temple University to facilitate the day's events, and we're inviting students from across Pennsylvania to learn more about the wide-ranging benefits of a career in tourism! *Find the registration link below following some fun facts about tourism destinations and experiences in our region and the event FAQ. 

Hershey Harrisburg Tourism By The Numbers

While the pandemic has affected travel over the past 20 months, consumer trends indicate the Hershey Harrisburg Region is working its way back to pre-pandemic averages. Historically:  

  • Visitors spend more than $2 Billion in the Hershey Harrisburg Region annually.  
  • The region's tourism industry creates more than 25,000 jobs annually. 
  • The region welcomes more than 10 million visitors annually. 

Career Connections Day FAQ

Q: Who should attend?
A: Students and recent grads interested in learning about internships, seasonal employment, and long-term career opportunities in the Hospitality Management, Sports Tourism, and related fields such as Sales, Management, Operations, Culinary, Marketing, and Communications positions.

Q: Why should you attend?
A: To learn about careers in tourism and to connect with professionals working in Hospitality Management, Sports Tourism, and related fields.

Q: Is there a fee to attend?
A: Student and recent graduate participation is free. 

Q: Is this a job fair? 
A: No. (We think it's better!) Rather than on-the-spot interviews, this event encourages information sharing and discussion. For students who may be undecided in the next steps of their career path, this is a chance to learn about the wealth of opportunities in the tourism industry and to see how a variety of skill sets could match with potential careers. Tourism professionals in the Hershey Harrisburg Region welcome more than 10 million visitors each year; they are eager to share insights with the future workforce! 

Q: How will we connect with tourism professionals at the event?
A:  Students and recent grads will participate in roundtable discussions (10-15 minute sessions at each table) with professionals who work in lodging, dining & culinary, attractions, sports, and other tourism-related fields. They'll be encouraged to ask questions about what a career path in your business could look like. This format facilitates making a broad array of purposeful connections for students and businesses alike.

Q: What tourism-related business will attend?
A: More than 200 businesses in the Hershey Harrisburg Region have been invited to attend. Expected attendees include hotels, attractions, restaurants, venues, and more. Registration is ongoing, and a list will be provided prior to the event. 

Q: What do students and graduates need to bring along?
A:  An open mind and lots of questions! 

Q: What is the registration deadline?
A: Wednesday, March 9.

Q: When will we know what businesses will be attending? 
A: Registration is ongoing. Scroll to the end of the page to see the list of businesses and organizations currently registered. 

Q: Is transportation arranged?
A: Students and recent graduates should discuss transportation options with their school. Both group arrivals and individual drivers are welcome. Onsite parking for the event is free.  (*See note in agenda for start times based on school-provided transportation vs. individual arrivals.)

Tentative Agenda

10:00 AM – 12:30 PM  --  Area Site Tours (*Students utilizing school-sponsored transportation will begin area site tours at 10:00 AM. Students arriving via personal transportation will begin a venue tour at 11:30 AM.)
12:30 PM – 1:00 PM  --  Boxed Lunches
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM  --  Panel Discussion w/Industry Professionals | Special Presentation
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM  --  Roundtable Discussions

Panel Discussion Speakers (*Subject to Change)

  • Terri Elfner, Opening Manager, Springwood Hospitality
  • Joe Massaro, General Manager, Hilton Harrisburg
  • John Longstreet, President & CEO, PA Restaurant & Lodging Association 
  • Jaime Berger, Owner & CEO, C&J Catering
  • Gregg Cook, Executive Director, Hershey Harrisburg Sports & Events Authority

Special Presentation: Dare to Dream

  • Diane McGraw - Owner, McGraw Productions 

Ready to learn more about careers in tourism? Register today! 

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Participating Businesses (Registration Ongoing)

Adventure Explorations

Adventure Sports in Hershey

Appalachian Brewing Company

B.R.P. Entertainment

Best Western Premier, the Central Hotel

C&J Catering

Dauphin County Parks & Recreation Department

Fairfield Inn and Suites HIA  and Courtyard Hershey Chocolate Ave.

Hampton Inn

Harrisburg International Airport

Harrisburg Senators

Hershey's Chocolate World | The Hershey Company

Hershey Entertainment & Resorts

Hershey Harrisburg Sports & Events Authority

Hilton Harrisburg

Holiday Inn Harrisburg-Hershey

IHG Staybridge Suites

La Quinta Harrisburg Airport

Lebanon Expo Center

PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center

PA Restaurant & Lodging Association

Springwood Hospitality

Springwood Hospitality/Home2 Suites by Hilton - Harrisburg North

The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey

Troegs Independent Brewing Company

 

Did You Know?

  • Milton S. Hershey, the founder of The Hershey Company, purchased a ticket on the Titanic. Before the ship set sail, Mr. Hershey was called back to the states early for a business emergency. Visitors can learn more about his life and legacy at The Hershey Story, Museum on Chocolate Avenue.
     
  • The Appalachian Trail curves through the Hershey Harrisburg Region. The trail is 2,181 miles long, but we think our 28 miles are the best, along with our other beautiful hiking and biking paths.
     
  • You can stand on the exact spot where President Teddy Roosevelt deemed the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building “the handsomest” building he’d ever seen. Guided tours around the complex are free and offered daily.
     
  • Hershey Gardens was originally intended to be a “nice little garden of roses” for Milton Hershey’s wife Catherine. Today, visitors wander through 23 acres of botanical beauty, and can stop by the Conservatory and tropical Butterfly Atrium for a friendly flutter-by greeting.
     
  • Harrisburg’s cherished Broad Street Market is the oldest continuously operating market in the country. During the Civil War, vendors at the market fed tens of thousands of Union soldiers who were stationed at nearby Camp Curtin.