New High School Mentorship Program for Careers in Aviation

March 4, 2017, 5:56 AM HST · Updated March 4, 6:01 AM

Ka Ho‘okele “The Navigator” Explorers Program. PC: Hawaiian Airlines.

An inaugural class of 19 public high school students are participating in a new mentorship program that provides hands-on learning about all aspects of the airline industry.

Hawaiian Airline’s Ka Ho‘okele “The Navigator” Explorers Program, developed with the Aloha Council Boy Scouts, features more than 20 Hawaiian Airlines employees from diverse sectors of the company who volunteer to mentor high school students in aviation careers.

Earlier this week, the inaugural class of 14- to 17-year-old students took part in their first afterschool tour of Hawaiian’s maintenance operations.

Ka Ho‘okele “The Navigator” Explorers Program. PC: Hawaiian Airlines.

Students were given a safety briefing, practiced sheet metal skills such as cutting, bending and fitting, studied aircraft electronic systems and observed quality control checks.


Participants will spend the next 10 weeks immersed in Hawaiian’s operations as employees share their expertise in areas ranging from cargo to flight and airport operations, among many other fields.

Throughout the program, the group will also be introduced to Hawaiian’s culture of Ho‘okipa (Hawaiian hospitality), learn about educational requirements to achieve successful aviation careers, and practice key job skills such as interviewing, presentation and teamwork.

Prior to an exam and graduation in May, the class will participate in a weekend community service activity alongside Hawaiian’s Team Kōkua volunteers.

The Ka Ho‘okele program is the latest addition to the airline’s education outreach efforts in the community. Over the past several years, Hawaiian has conducted Keiki Tours for preschool and elementary students at Honolulu International Airport and it recently launched a mechanic apprenticeship program with the Honolulu Community College’s Aeronautics Maintenance and Technology program and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union.



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