Maui Business

HTA Brings Youth Hospitality Workforce Program to Maui

March 27, 2013, 11:39 AM HST
* Updated March 27, 12:38 PM
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Students participating in 2012 LEI program. Courtesy photo.

Students participating in 2012 LEI program. Courtesy photo.

By Sonia Isotov

ClimbHI, a local non-profit organization, will put on the second Hospitality Workforce Development “LEI” program April 3 on Maui.

The event for more than 120 of Maui’s high school students is being held in partnership with the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.

LEI is a workforce development project designed to inspire Hawaii’s youth to select careers in the Hawai‘i visitor industry. HTA will put on a similar event for Oahu students April 6.

The agency expects more than 500 students statewide to participate the program.

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From the student’s perspective, LEI represents an opportunity for “Leadership, Exploration and Inspiration,” and from the hospitality industry’s perspective, LEI provides an opportunity to “Lead, Expose and Inspire” Hawaii’s youth.

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“After just one year, there are many success stories of participants entering into the industry, and what makes me smile even more is the aloha spirit that is so strong in these students,” Julie Morikawa, founder and chief executive office of ClimbHI, said in a media release today.

High school students participate in 2012 LEI program to learn more about careers in the hospitality industry. Courtesy photo.

High school students participate in 2012 LEI program to learn more about careers in the hospitality industry. Courtesy photo.

“We have alaka‘i (mentors) that volunteered to help plan and organize the event, and students that wrote essays to come back and help us at LEI this year as kako‘o (junior mentors),” Morikawa said.

The day-long program will be held at the Sheraton Maui in Kaanapali beginning at 9:30 a.m. After a morning of leadership, hospitality, and cultural training, the students separate to visit 16 different participating hotels from 11 a.m. through 2 p.m.

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The students return to the Sheraton Maui from 2-3:30 p.m. for a career fair showcasing over 60 businesses that represent the variety of jobs in the hospitality industry, along with relevant college/university programs.

For more information or to get involved with LEI, contact Morikawa at [email protected].

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