Kapi‘olani Community College receives Hawai‘i Tourism Authority funding to provide cultural training for Hawai‘i's hospitality industry

Award supports training programs in Chinese, Japanese and Korean language and culture, and Hawaiian culture and values

Kapiʻolani Community College
Carol Hoshiko, (808) 734-9567
Kapiolani Community College
Kristen Bonilla, (808) 956-5039
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Sep 12, 2008

HONOLULU — Kapiʻolani Community College has received an award of $155,580 from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) to develop a comprehensive training program focused on applied Chinese, Japanese and Korean language and culture for the visitor industry. The Chinese and Korean language and culture training initiative is in response to the industry‘s need to prepare for the arrival of Chinese and Korean visitors to the state.

Kapiʻolani CC‘s team of language experts will utilize its already successful Japanese language and culture training program as a template. Additionally, they will train selected trainers from Hawaiʻi, Kauaʻi and Maui Community Colleges on these programs. The program is now in development and will be rolled out to the industry this fall on Hawaiʻi, Kauaʻi, Maui and Oʻahu.

"With the projected influx of visitors from China and Korea, we want to make sure that our visitor industry workforce is equipped with the tools they need—language training, cultural understanding and perspective, protocol awareness, knowledge of customs, and more—to provide quality service to these emerging markets," said Rex Johnson, president and CEO of HTA.

"Workforce development is an important initiative for Hawaiʻi‘s visitor industry, and HTA, with support from the legislature, is committed to this area. We felt that a partnership with KCC would be beneficial due to the success of their efforts with Chinese and Japanese language and culture training programs."

The HTA award will also support Hoʻokipa Me Ke Aloha training for youths at the Kalihi Youth Service Center and certify additional trainers for the Hoʻokipa Me Ke Aloha program on various islands.

Palakiko Yagodich, coordinator and instructor for Kapiʻolani CC‘s Interpret Hawaiʻi program, will train youths at the Kalihi Youth Service Center on Hawaiian culture and values. The second phase of this program includes site visitations to various organizations within the visitor industry. Participants will observe how organizations incorporate Hawaiian culture and values in the workplace, in addition to learning about job opportunities and the application process.

"We hope to create another career pathway for these young adults as they learn how their culture and values are applied not just in the home, but in the workplace," said Yagodich.

Due to the popularity and demand for Hoʻokipa Me Ke Aloha training, Yagodich will continue certification training on the islands of Hawaiʻi, Kauaʻi, Maui and Oʻahu. This initiative began in 2007 and Yagodich and his team will continue to work with selected trainers and certify them to deliver Hoʻokipa Me Ke Aloha training on their respective islands.

Kapiʻolani CC Chancellor Leon Richards said, "We are very proud of this award and especially pleased to support the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority‘s efforts. The college has a long and successful history of developing and offering applied second language and culture programs for special purposes and for various businesses and industries in Hawaiʻi. For example, we have trained many industry personnel on Japanese language and culture, as well as on the Hoʻokipa Me Ke Aloha program. This partnership with HTA reaffirms our commitment to providing quality training programs for Hawaiʻi‘s visitor industry".

For more information about the Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts programs at Kapiʻolani Community College, visit www.kapiolani.hawaii.edu.

For more information, visit: http://www.kapiolani.hawaii.edu