From the office of Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke

This month's Traveling City Hall will be about job opportunities with the culinary arts, food service/hospitality industry, plus building trades, manufacturing & health care.

With the construction of a new convention center hotel underway downtown and the opening of new restaurants throughout the Evansville area, the food service and hospitality industry is preparing for tremendous growth over the next few years. But some local restaurant managers are already having a difficult time hiring and retaining employees, in particular chefs, cooks and trained food preparation workers.

In a continuing effort to raise awareness about jobs opportunities in Evansville, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke has invited representatives from the food service and hospitality industry to participate in a discussion about jobs at the Traveling City Hall meeting on Wednesday, September 23, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Ivy Tech Community College, 3501 N. First Ave. The meeting will be held in room 344.

Chef Watez Phelps, Associate Professor/Program Chair Hospitality Administration at Ivy Tech, and Chef Ed Ellis, III, Chef Instructor at Southern Indiana Career and Technical Center, will offer presentations on training opportunities for food service workers and the Culinary Arts program. Bob Warren, Executive Director of the Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau will talk about the impact food service and hospitality can have on local tourism and the growing demand for employees.

Information about apprenticeship training programs through the local building trades will also be offered by representatives from the Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio Region Council of Carpenters; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 16; Operating Engineers Local 181; and Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 136. The meeting will also feature representatives from Ivy Tech and the Career and Technical Center on training for high-skilled jobs in manufacturing, automotive and health care. Jim Heck, Executive Director of WorkOne Southwest, will have information on current job openings in the region.

The presentations and remarks will be followed by an opportunity for the public to talk one-on-one with the speakers. Mayor Winnecke and city department heads will also be available to discuss issues related to city government.