There aren’t many places in the world where there’s a mall on your left and an apple orchard on your right as you’re driving down the road.
And no matter how much tech, manufacturing or condominium progress is made in thriving Kelowna, that scene is unlikely to change. Agriculture has—and always will be—what causes the Okanagan’s heart to beat.
And now you can be a part of that fabric that makes the Okanagan unique. BC Tree Fruits, which has been harvesting those orchards since 1936, is conducting two hiring fairs in early June. They are looking for cherry production line workers for the summer.
“We really need people and want people who want to be part of that story and part of that history,” BC Tree Fruits human resources generalist Jessee Regnier says. “The success of what we do, especially at cherry season, a huge part of that is the production staff that we have in our facility. They’re an integral part of the cycle of cherries.
“There’s no way we could sell 500,000 cartons of cherries without our production staff.”
The company will be hosting its first hiring fair on June 1 at its Oliver location (327 Co-op Ave.), where it will be looking for 100 employees to work during the six to eight weeks of cherry harvest season. The second fair will be on June 8 at its Vaughan Street location in Kelowna, where 200 workers are required.
Both hiring fairs begin at 9 a.m. and run until noon. Prospective employees are encouraged to bring a resume, and the interviews will be five to 10 minutes long. There will be a barbecue, prize giveaways and more on the agenda.
“This year we’re making it a really big experience,” Regnier says.
BC Tree Fruits is also offering an incentive program for those who bring a friend or friends to the fair and end up getting hired. The schedule is flexible, as is the actual shift time. It’s a perfect job for a student or anyone looking for supplemental income. Employment doesn’t have to conclude at the end of the summer, either.
“We’re primarily looking for help with cherry season, but if it’s for you then there could be further opportunity,” human resources administrator Gillian Lane says, adding 15-year-olds can be hired if they bring a parent with them to the hiring fair.
“If they want to stay on come September, we always have apples coming in September and pears and peaches and plums and prunes down south.”
Production line workers sort cherries on the line, grade them and make sure they fit market quality. The Kelowna hiring fair will also be looking for stackers, who will have a higher level of responsibility because they will be dealing with shipping and inventory.
There will be daily employee draws for gift cards and BC Tree Fruits merchandise, and there will be a very fancy carrot dangling in front of employees at the end of the summer.
“At the end of the season we look over everybody’s attendance, and the person who has the best attendance gets entered to win an iPad,” Lane says.
Consider it the best of both worlds. Working for BC Tree Fruits could get you plenty of goodies, but it will also allow you to play a role in keeping the heart of the Okanagan beating.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.
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