Virginia Tech’s Dining Services will hold a hiring fair in Blacksburg this month as it continues its focus on employee development and looks ahead to growth and innovation.

“Experience in food service isn’t required to join our team. We provide all the necessary training to prepare people for their positions,” said Laura Pontier, assistant director of operations development at Dining Services. “If you enjoy being part of a community of hardworking people focused on their careers and serving others, it’s a great place to work.”

The hiring fair will be held at the Blacksburg Community Center on July 20 and allows people to apply, interview, and immediately receive job offers contingent on background checks. The positions are both part- and full-time and in a range of roles in food service, including serving, cooking, food preparation, dishwashing, and customer service.

Recently approved wage increases have boosted the starting pay to $11/hour for nonstudent wage employees and $12/hour for salaried workers. The department has more than 200 open positions.

“This is an incredible opportunity for career development,” said Pontier. “We invest in training our employees and encourage them to move up through our organization. There are plenty of examples of people who started at entry-level positions and have gone on to have long careers in leadership at Dining Services.”

The hiring fair is an opportunity to join one of the most successful dining programs in the country. This year, Virginia Tech was named by Niche as having the best campus food in the country. It’s also one of the largest, ranking fourth in the nation in Food Management magazine’s 2019 College Dining Power Players, with more than $70 million in annual sales. The department serves about 45,000 customers each day at 47 dining venues in 13 locations, including the award-winning food trucks, the Grillfield and Periodic Table.

Several of the national brands on campus – Chick-fil-A, Qdoba, Bruegger’s Bagels, Freshens and Au Bon Pain – are the top college locations for sales in the country.

Dining Services also operates the Southgate Center, which serves as a distribution center and prepares fresh fruits and vegetables for the kitchen staff around campus. In addition, Southgate is the university’s bakery, with shifts that start early in the morning and a range of options for start times.

“We see our role at Dining Services as bigger than just food on the plate. We can contribute to both the personal and professional growth of our employees, developing their leadership, business and customer service skills,” said Ted Faulkner, director of Dining Services.  “We’re also looking ahead to an exciting period of planned growth and innovation for our department.

Several project are already in progress. The Owens Food Court is currently undergoing a complete renovation to create a new venue, Globowl Kitchen, a concept that spent years in development and will bring customized bowl-style meals and new, international flavors to campus for the first time. The expansion of Dietrick Hall, creating more seating, new dining venues, and a large grab-and-go area, is scheduled to break ground next year. Students will also have more options to order meals through Tapingo Ultimate, an updated version of the Dining Services app which adds ordering kiosks and order display screens to the existing service.

The hiring fair will be July 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Blacksburg Community Center at 725 Patrick Henry Drive. Learn more online at www.dining.vt.edu/jobs. Virginia Tech is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Written by Will Rizzo. Photo by Darren Van Dyke.