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The Orange County Visitors Association (OCVA) recently announced that it will launch the “Orange County Tourism Workforce Initiative” in January 2020.

This new program was created to educate, engage and excite local high school and community college students about career opportunities in the tourism and hospitality industries.

In 2017, Orange County’s tourism industry generated more $21.3 billion in total economic benefits and sustained more than 179,000 jobs, according to the Association.

Past and projected growth in the tourism industry, combined with the overall strength of the Orange County economy and very low unemployment, have made growing the tourism workforce an important and challenging priority.

“OCVA’s new initiative is a welcome strategy that will benefit both our students and the tourism industry that is so critical to Orange County’s economic vitality,” Orange County Board Supervisor and Chairperson Lisa Bartlett said in a press release. “I am delighted that the County of Orange is partnering with OCVA in this initiative and look forward to the positive outreach to be achieved, especially with Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act youth.”

The centerpiece of the initiative is a wrapped bus that will travel to high schools and community college campuses throughout Orange County starting in January 2020 and extending through December 2020.

During campus visits, current industry professionals will share their educational backgrounds and compelling career path stories. Participating schools will be provided with resources that can be used to connect students to employers and employment development programs.

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