Finding a place to live

Housing, hiring, and hospitality

It’s becoming a repeated refrain in the hospitality industry in the Okanagan and many other places:

“where can we find more staff, and where are they going to live?”

When it comes to the wine industry, perhaps we haven’t yet reached a critical tipping point when it comes to staffing, but it’s coming. As yet, unlike restaurants, it’s rare that a winery must limit its hours due to a lack of front-of-house people, but it’s coming.

And so, a call out to those on the front lines of finding staff to think about attending the Hiring and Workforce Housing Forum on Sept. 18 in Penticton, an event hosted by the City of Penticton’s Economic Development department.

“Finding great people has been increasingly challenging over the last few years for a variety of reasons, and fast-growing industries such as wine and beverage find themselves competing even more for that available talent,” said Jennifer Vincent, who has put the event together.

“Often companies are finding they are recruiting from outside the region meaning that new staff must relocate, but where will they live? If they’re seasonal staff, what kind of short-term affordable housing options are available?

“The forum is a chance to discuss these needs with the development community and to explore how the various employment sectors in the region might come together to create some really smart solutions to an ongoing problem.”

Speakers run the gamut from university professors to experts in immigration – temporary foreign workers is a hot topic in many industries – to representatives from B.C. Housing and leaders in entrepreneurship.

“The forum is an opportunity to take a day to dive into learning how to optimize how you market to potential employees and you can even sign up to produce a recruitment video, leveraging your learnings throughout the day and supported with professional videographers,” Vincent said.

There is no easy solution, but coming together for interactive discussions with colleagues, both in hospitality and other industries, might be a good place to start.

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.hiringandhousingforum.com/


Sept. 13 and Oct. 11, Okanagan Falls: Liquidity Winery hosts two Harvest Winemakers Dinners, with a sparkling wine reception followed by a five-course dinner.

Sept. 14, Naramata: The first event of the Mountain Music Series, featuring a three-course dinner and live music.

Sept. 18, Kelowna: Join PipART Creations at Volcanic Hills to create some art – Mixed Media Wine Bottles.

Sept. 21, Kelowna: Appleooza, a cider tasting event, takes place at the Packinghouse with a number of cideries and food trucks.

Sept. 27, Okanagan Falls: Meatstock takes place at Wild Goose Vineyards. An evening of meats prepared by the Smoke and Oak Bistro, plus wine pairings.


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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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