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Hawaiian Culture

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Job Shadowing Program Inspires Future Industry Professionals

HTA is focused on creating job opportunities to attract and sustain a strong workforce for Hawaii’s tourism industry. Through working with partners like the Department of Education (DOE) Career and Technical Education (CTE), the HTA is able to support programs that promote career path opportunities in tourism. 
“Our workforce is the foundation for the state’s number one industry, and the aloha spirit and hospitality that they provide translates to the success of our tourism economy,” said Jadie Goo, HTA tourism brand manager. “Therefore, we need to create opportunities to attract and nurture the best and the brightest to ensure mutual success for everyone.”
This past weekend, the DOE CTE organized a job shadowing program on Oahu’s North Shore to offer high school students and teachers hands-on experience and insight into job opportunities in Hawaii’s hospitality industry. Eight students and five teachers from Kealakehe High School, Maui High School, Pahoa High School, Pearl City High School and Waipahu High School attended the weekend-long program hosted by Turtle Bay Resort. 
Participants toured the resort and met with management throughout the hotel, including operations, human resources, finance, sales and marketing, IT, catering, spa, security, maintenance, concierge, front and bell desks.  Turtle Bay Resort’s General Manager Danna Holck also joined the participants for dinner. While some participants helped man the concierge and reservations desk, others assisted the hotel chef prepare for a banquet event, as others helped in the resort stables. 
Participants also visited the neighboring Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) where they not only experienced the dinner and show, but had the opportunity to tour the backstage areas and learn about the production behind the success of an attraction like the PCC. 
“Creating learning opportunities for students and teachers to experience the tourism industry enhances classroom learning,” said Sherilyn Lau, DOE CTE program administrator. “Interacting with professionals in the tourism industry allows participants to better understand the work environment, responsibilities, facilities and culture that impact the business; and hopefully, will inspire the next generation of hospitality professionals.” 

Mahalo to Danna Holck and her staff at Turtle Bay Resort and the Polynesian Cultural Center for hosting the DOE CTE job shadowing program and sharing your time, experience and aloha with the participants. 
For more information on the HTA’s career development programs, please contact Jadie Goo at (808) 973-2255 or email  The HTA encourages you to share information and ideas regarding your career development programs and partnership opportunities. 
Program Reflections: 
What I experienced and observed this weekend strengthened and reinforced my knowledge in hospitality and tourism, but at the same time, allowed me to gain experience and gain more knowledge. After I graduate, I plan to go to a college with a good business and hospitality program. – Justine Fiesta, student at Waipahu High School

Success and buy-in to culture starts at the top. Hiring and empowering others around you helps to get others behind your culture. [We are] currently integrating a management program to empower students to empower others. - Todd Nakayama, teacher at Waipahu High School
[The IT workers] did their jobs with positive attitudes, with a smile and very friendly. That shows the aloha spirit and the Hawaiian culture. – Nemesei Steven, student at Pahoa High School

I learned that great management will always spare time for their employees. I have watched [Danna Holck] interact not only with the staff but also with the guests. This helped me link the fact that in order for company values to transcend to other employees, upper management must always practice them. – Ashley Castaneda, student at Waipahu High School
Everyone at Turtle Bay was such a pleasure to work with. The management and staff at Turtle Bay were eager to share with our students and teachers their knowledge and passion for providing memorable experiences. The feedback has been very positive and we are very grateful to the Turtle Bay team for coordinating a successful professional development opportunity. – Sherilyn Lau, Perkins Federal Programs, DOE

DIACRITICALS recognizes the use of diacritical markings of the (modern) Hawaiian language including the `okina [`] or glottal stop and the kahakō [ō] or macron (e.g., in place names of Hawai`i such as Lāna'i). However, you may notice these diacritical markings have been omitted throughout the website to ensure the best online experience for our visitors. recognizes the importance of using these markings to preserve the language and culture of Hawaii and respectfully uses them in all communications beyond the online platform.

1801 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
Phone: (808) 973-2255
Fax: (808) 973-2253

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