Mahi Pono Launches Ag Training Education Program for High School Students

June 20, 2020, 10:22 AM HST · Updated June 22, 1:17 PM
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Mahi Pono held a formal blessing ceremony, marking the start of its first row crop planting. (8.23.19) Photo by Mahi Pono

Maui farming company – Mahi Pono – is partnering with the Hawaii Agricultural Foundation to offer local high school students paid internships.

Developed in collaboration with the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education’s Career Technical Education office, the program provides local high school students with paid internships through the Chef’s Corner project. Students are offered real-world experience in the agricultural industry, including exposure to careers available through workplace mentorships.

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Maui high school students ages 16 and older are eligible to start applying through the Chef’s Corner project. Selected interns will be paid $12/hour for up to three months or 12 weeks, depending on intern availability. For more information and to apply, contact Jayson Watts at [email protected] or call (808) 594-9316.

With Hawai‘i’s reliance on imported food, the COVID-19 pandemic has shined a spotlight on the need to support local agriculture and increase local food production. Company representatives say the partnership between Mahi Pono and HAF underscores the importance to create and maintain a reliable agricultural workforce. The goal of In the Fields program is to support Hawai‘i’s agricultural industry by attracting, developing, and maintaining a quality workforce to meet the present and future agricultural needs of the islands.

“This workforce development partnership falls directly in line with our state’s efforts to diversify our economy and become more sustainable,” says Shan Tsutsui, senior vice president of operations at Mahi Pono. “Agriculture is one of those industries that can help us with economic
diversification and sustainability, and programs like In the Fields will help us in building a
qualified workforce so that our next generation has the relevant skills and experience to help us
succeed as a community.”

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