Recently Melissa Reyes, Orchard View’s Director of Human Resources was interviewed for a livestream broadcast of “Discover The Dalles” hosted Brad Harmon producer for You Be All You Are TV and talked about the 2017 Cherry Harvest and the employment opportunities available.
“Today my guest is Melissa Reyes with Orchard View Inc in The Dalles, Oregon. Melissa welcome to the broadcast.”
“Hi! Hello everyone, thank you for having me.”
“It’s our pleasure to have you on the broadcast. It’s a beautiful spring day here in the Columbia Gorge and when it’s springtime in the gorge, it must mean that you guys are accepting applications for employment.”
“We are! The cherries of blooming, we have a great view up here at Orchard View. So that means that, yes, we are accepting applications for this harvest season. Which you know, will creep up on us very quickly.”
“Well that’s great! I love it when it whenever the Cherry Hills are in bloom, I mean the cherry trees are blooming on the hills up there, it’s just a beautiful sight. Please, tell us a little bit about why somebody might want to think about working for Orchard View and why it’s a great place for summer employment.”
“Well, other than the exceptional views, It’s specifically the everyday working with everyone here. I believe that it’s a great place to work just because you build friendships and you also build up your work ethic, you know it’s kind of a lot of things in one.
We employ over 800 people at one time, so imagine, you have to talk to a lot of people and I really believe it’s a great place to work.
There’s great weather throughout the summer, great pay for entry-level jobs because we are very driven to offer compatible wages, so it’s really a great place to work at and be employed.”
“That sounds wonderful. A lot of people come back season after season, is that correct?”
“That is correct, we actually do have employees that come back and have been coming back for over 20 years. I’m happy, we’re all happy in human resource about that.”
“One of the things you really focus on is employee safety. Is it a really safe place to work, with all the equipment and everything that’s going on there?”
“It is! It’s a very safe and comfortable working environment and like I said, people working alongside other people, it creates that watching out for each other, so it’s always a safe environment. Because there’s flags where there’s people seeing their surroundings and it’s just outside most of the time.
“We also have positions of packing house which is more of a… more in groups within a more in secluded areas, and we take much pride in providing a safe and comfortable work environment for our employees.”
“Wonderful, what kind of jobs will be available? You said you have jobs in the orchards and jobs in the packinghouse, so what kind of positions are available for people to apply for?
“Yes, we have different positions throughout cherry harvest. For example, in the packing house whether it’s packing cherries or stacking our boxes or wrapping our pallets. We also have more skilled jobs for example; driving forklifts or driving a big truck.
We also have positions in the orchard, such as punching our picker tickets, helping them sort the bin, getting the leaves out. We have tractor driving positions. You know, it’s just overall as little as a job might seem, it is a big help.”
“Great, well I remember doing a cherry orchard work very young man and it was it was a great experience and a great summer. There is always lots going on and lots of fun people work with.”
“Yes and like I said, it’s just you’re around so many people that use you get to know them and create relationships from the get-go.”
“Well great, so if someone was to get a seasonal position with Orchard View, how long would they expect their job to last? About how many weeks is the season and how does that work?
“Our season lasts about 8 weeks. You know, we are actually one of the largest cherry orchardist here in The Dalles and our season is about eight weeks. We work all days of the week. You might some days off but its weather-dependent. Our harvest season does take about six to eight weeks to produce and pack all of the cherries.”
“That’s wonderful and you guys are one of the northwest premier sweet, dark and light cherry growers. You guys have several varieties that span out over several weeks to be harvested and packed.”
“Yes, very much so. We start with the Chelan in the early season and we end with the Sweethearts, that maybe up until the end of July. Which this this year is actually a late harvest but we still have, you know, six to eight weeks of harvest.
“Yeah, we kind of got a little bit of a late start with that long snowy winter, didn’t we?”
“Yes it was, it was a very long winter for us, over the past few years, but it’s like I said; cherry blossoms are looking great.”
“Well it’s been such a wonderfully wet spring, I’m sure that once we dry out here a little bit, we’ll have some beautiful cherries on the trees. Melissa let me say, you’ve been a wealth of information. Are there any final thoughts you’d like to share us or suggestions about how to get employment at Orchard View, for seasonal summer cherry harvest?”
“Yes! I would like to invite everyone, and anyone that would like to experience of working for Orchard View, to visit our website. Which we are very excited about, it’s fairly new to us, but it’s at OrchardView.com. Check out our videos, look up all of our pictures, read through our history and also go to pick your employment, so you can apply for one our positions that we currently have open.”
“Excellent! And it is a very beautiful website, if I do say so myself. That’s OrchardView.com and go to pick your employment and you can look at the jobs that are available and fill out an application there online, correct?”
“Correct! Yes, that is correct.”
“Awesome Melissa, you’ve been a wonderful guest on Discover The Dalles today. Thank you very much for joining us.”
“Thank you for having me.”
“You’re very welcome and we hope that we’ll see you or somebody else from your team on another broadcast.”
“And thank you for tuning in to Discover The Dalles, it’s a product of You Be All You Are TV and we hope that we’ll see you again soon on another broadcast.”