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  Thursday, March 5, 2015
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ARAMARK Job Fair at Convention Center
By Rick Winterson

     ARAMARK Corporation is the company that provides the food, beverage, and hospitality services to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center at 415 Summer Street.  Because of some major upcoming conventions, such as “New England Grows” and the International Seafood Convention, ARAMARK needs to add to their on-call staff.  Since as many as 100 total jobs need to be filled, they are holding a Job Fair on Thursday, January 19, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Convention Center.

     Jim Callahan is the ARAMARK General Manager here.  He says, “We are part of this community, so we’re targeting South Boston as a place where we want to hire.  Wherever ARAMARK goes, we want to be a good citizen.”  Fred Peterson, The Convention Center’s Community Liaison, thinks of South Boston as the Convention Center’s “host community”.  Both Jim and Fred strongly encourage South Boston’s job seekers to attend the Job Fair.

     There are on-call positions available at several levels.  Entry-level jobs requiring little or no experience include Catering/Concession Runners and Utility Workers.  These positions are what Jim Callahan calls “foot-in-the-door” positions that will be filled by individuals who are dependable and who have a strong work ethic.  These jobs can open the door leading to higher positions.

     Bartenders and Banquet Waitstaff candidates should have two or three years of direct experience.  These jobs have growth potential.  They can lead to positions as working supervisors.  If you feel you have the necessary experience and background, inquire about possible career paths in ARAMARK when you attend the Job Fair.

     Individuals qualified to be Office Coordinators and Operations Coordinators are also sought.  These are administrative positions, which require computer know-how, phone capabilities, and excellent “people skills”.  Some college background is desirable, but the equivalent in actual experience is certainly acceptable.

As mentioned, these are on-call positions.  The amount of work will depend upon the size and number of convention bookings at the Convention Center, which are growing very rapidly.  One reason for recruiting in South Boston is that employees live nearby, and can even walk to work on short notice, if necessary.  This could be ideal for the man or woman who wants varied working arrangements.

     The rates of pay are highly competitive.  The people hired by ARAMARK (except for the Coordinators) will join Local 26 of HERE – Unite.  “HERE” stands for “Hotel Employees/Restaurant Employees”.  Since alcoholic beverage service is part of the workload, applicants must be at least 18 years old.  Many of the positions require T.I.P.S (Training for Intervention Procedures) or TEAMS (Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management) certification.

     What can you expect when you visit the Job Fair on the 19th?  You’ll be greeted in person by an ARAMARK host or hostess.  Help from the ARAMARK staff will be available to assist you in filling out your job application.  Interviews will be conducted by ARAMARK managers who are decision-makers.  And you’ll hear back from them in a short time.

     ARAMARK itself is a large, publicly held, worldwide corporation having close to a quarter of a million employees.  Its executives pride themselves on ethical operations and concern for their employees.  You can Google ARAMARK’s website for their mission statement and annual report, but listen to Jim Callahan for an actual case history.

     Jim came to Boston directly as a result of Hurricane Katrina – he had been transferred to New Orleans from Jacksonville by ARAMARK just six weeks before Katrina hit.  ARAMARK took care of him and his family in the interim – he and his wife, Regina, have two schoolchildren.  Then, Jim and four colleagues were transferred to ARAMARK’s Convention Center operation in Boston.  This brought Jim full circle - he was born in Dedham and received his degree in hotel/hospitality management from UMass Amherst 25 years ago.

    This is an opportune time to start a career in hospitality with ARAMARK at the Convention Center.  Spring and fall are busy convention seasons.  This summer, both Microsoft and the International Lions will meet there, and will fill the entire space.  Jim Rooney, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, has committed to a variety of outreach efforts in South Boston, including working with Anthony Gilardi at the South Boston Resource Center.

    Get in on the ground floor by attending the Job Fair on January 19.

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Fred Peterson, Convention Center Community Liaison for South Boston and Jim Callahan, ARAMARK's General Manager, discuss the Job Fair.