by Dennis Fujimoto – The Garden Island

POIPU — Waimea High School student Kamryn Kenney was thrilled to be part of the Leadership, Exploration and Inspiration workforce development program Friday at the Sheraton Kauai Resort.

“This is a great opportunity for hands-on learning,” Kenney said. “The busyness of the event makes it fun.”

It was the first time Hawaii’s largest workforce development program created four years ago to inspire youth to select careers in the visitor industry touched Kauai. Resort staff and general manager Chip Bahouth spent four hours with about 40 Menehune students.

“This is the first year Kauai is hosting the event,” said June Cappiello, Sheraton Kauai spokeswoman. “Hopefully, the program will continue and we’ll be able to expand it to include other schools and other resorts.”

Students were greeted by a dining etiquette activity and demonstration led by Jacob Vogelgesang, followed by a multi-course meal and a property tour.
“This was pretty challenging,” said Daneica Muraoka following the dining etiquette activity which was won my her table of six students. “It’s really good because we get to do hands-on experience.”

Sheraton Kauai Resort joins more than 60 businesses, including 21 hotels, across Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island in donating time to inspire more than 800 high school and college students in the LEI program hosted by ClimbHI, a nonprofit organization, in partnership with the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

“We look forward to watching this program grow and inspire a new generation of visitor industry movers and shakers,” said Ron Williams, HTA president and CEO.