LEI Kauai 2017

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LEI Maui 2017

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LEI Oahu 2017

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Sixth LEI Program Opens Doors for Students in Hotel, Tourism Industries

KOLOA — Kylie Butts thought Tuesday’s Leadership, Exploration and Inspiration program was just going to be a field trip she could enjoy instead of being in a classroom. What the Kauai High School senior didn’t expect was to learn so much about the local hotel and...
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Checking Out Careers in Hotel Industry

King Kekaulike High sophomores Savanna Valdez and Madison Dutro (first photo) chat with Barbie Dofa, Napili Kai Beach Resort director of human resources Wednesday during a career fair at the Sheraton Maui. The fair was part of the LEI (Leadership, Exploration,...
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LEI 2016 Program on Hawaii News Now

Annual leadership program to help inspire next generation of Hawaii's hospitality industry. HONOLULU - In April of 2016, ClimbHI and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) will kick off the 5th annual LEI (Leadership, Exploration, and Inspiration) program. Sponsored by...
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Tourism Climbing high

Photo by: Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island Chef Michael Young of the Sheraton Kauai Resort, leads a line of Kauai Community College culinary arts students and other chefs in serving up Niihau Lamb during the ACF Breakfast at the Kauai Community College in this...
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Article in The Garden Island (Kauai)

Inspiring the next generation LIHUE — In April, ClimbHI and the Hawaii Tourism Authority will kick off the 5th annual LEI (Leadership, Exploration and Inspiration) program. LEI is the largest workforce development program in Hawaii, and was created to inspire Hawaii’s...
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‘Pick me,’ says visitor industry

CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM The visitor industry is working hard to find the next generation of local hospitality workers. Kapiolani Community College students Anna Huertas, second from left, and Rita Barrientos talk with Julie Morikawa, right, and...
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Workforce program reaches Kauai

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...
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Kezeah Bautista, Included in HTA’s Monthly Update for the Month of April

In honor of Tourism Month, the HTA would like to share an editorial piece by Kezeah Bautista, an 11th grader at Farrington High School, who recently participated in the Leadership, Exploration and Inspiration (LEI) tourism industry career development program held at...
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Hundreds of Students Get Inside Look at Visitor Industry

Hundreds of high school and college students got an inside look at Hawaii’s tourism industry Friday. The 4th annual LEI Program features more than 60 businesses, including 21 full-service hotels, that introduce students to various visitor-oriented operations, and even...
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We just finished the spot for LEI. Will share with you the air schedule once we have it from Oceanic. Click Here to watch the video on youtube.
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The Program Expanded My Meaning of the Hospitality Industry

Casey Anacleto                                                                                                                                                                                              Kauai High School Hospitality and tourism is a great and wide...
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HTA featured: Student Learns that Practice Makes Perfect in Hospitality

By Aimee Nitta                                                                                                                                                                                        Waianae High School Five stars isn't just the rate of a hotel, it is...
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LEI Is Not A Program

By  Deyvon Savaiigaea-Lee I want to express my sincere appreciation for giving my the opportunity to participate in this year's Leadership Exploration Inspiration (L.E.I) event. This is my second year participating and I certainly have gained so much knowledge and...
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HTA featured: Utilizing My Time and Energy

By Randi Lee Oxentine                                                                                                                                                                   Kauai High School When our time and energy is put to positive use, there will always...
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HTA E- Bulletin: Leading, Exploring and Inspiring Aloha

By Carlyn Abramo                                                                                                                                                                             Mililani High School Hospitality extends so much further than an industry....
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LEI 2013 Maui Program-April 2013

On April 3, 2013, ClimbHI held its inaugural LEI Maui Program in an effort to reach out to high school students on The Valley Isle. With over 120 students from three high schools in attendance, the program was a great success. The general sentiment was that the...
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Expedia Local Expert Tour

Being an extern at ClimbHI is awesome! There are a lot of opportunities for you out there. I was given the opportunity to see and understand how Expedia Local Expert runs. By shadowing Mr. Pete Sherbrick, one of the Concierge Managers of the Local Expert Honolulu...
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ClimbHi is working hard to impact students. Here are some of the articles that ClimbHi is featured in:

Sixth LEI program opens doors for students in hotel, tourism industries

Posted: Thursday, April 6, 2017 1:15 am

David McCracken – The Garden Island

LEI 2017 offers students opportunities

Posted: Sunday, April 2, 2017 12:30 am

ClimbHI and Hawaii Tourism Authority will host the sixth annual Leadership, Exploration and Inspiration program on the Hawaiian Islands.

LEI 2017 will begin on Kauai on Tuesday and continue onto Maui on April 8, Oahu on April 18 and Hawaii Island on April 19-20. The objective of the program is to expose high school students to life past graduation and to introduce them to potential workforce opportunities.

“Encouraging Hawaii’s teens to follow a career in tourism is essential to the industry’s future success,” said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.

Among potential workforce options is the hospitality industry where students will have direct access to view and research a possible career path in the tourism industry,

“The LEI program provides the opportunity for students to engage with our veteran team of hospitality professionals for a hands-on experience to see the resort, taste the food and learn what opportunities are available to them as future leaders,” said Chip Bahouth, general manager of Sheraton Kauai Resort.

Through the 2013-2014 school year, Hawaii was one of only five states in the nation that had a decline in high school graduation rates, according to a news release.

“Our keiki have so much potential to shape the future and with the help of Hawaii’s visitor industry, many are setting out on career paths to reach their dreams. ClimbHI gives our youth the inspiration to graduate from high school, attain higher education, and visualize a life for themselves beyond their teen years.”said Julie Morikawa, president of ClimbHI.

To sign up for the career fair, email or visit

© 2017 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

-In courtesy of The Garden Island

HTA-sponsored statewide program to connect over 800 high school students with hospitality businesses

The Hawaii Tourism Authority and local non-profit ClimbHI are sponsoring the sixth annual Leadership, Exploration and Inspiration program to connect Hawaii’s students with individuals in the local visitor industry.

The LEI program, to occur on all Islands in April, will connect more than 900 high school and college students with about 85 hospitality businesses to discuss career paths in the industry. The day-long program includes speeches from industry leaders, tours of participating hotels as well as a cultural training program.

“Our keiki have so much potential to shape the future and with the help of Hawaii’s visitor industry, many are setting out on career paths to reach their dreams,” said Julie Morikawa, president of educational non-profit ClimbHI. “ClimbHI gives our youth the inspiration to graduate from high school, attain higher education, and visualize a life for themselves beyond their teen years.”

Participating hotels include The Royal Hawaiian, Westin Moana Surfrider, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach and The Kahala Hotel & Resort.

In a tourism roundtable event at Pacific Business News earlier this month, industry experts said recruitment efforts need to be doubled to bring and sustain talent for the future of local hospitality businesses.

David Richard, director of sales and marketing for Starwood and Marriott in Hawaii, said the company recruits from colleges on the Mainland that have a high concentration of students from Hawaii.

“It is hard to get people to move to Hawaii because of the cost of living, so we focus more on recruiting and developing the people that are from Hawaii,” Richard said.

Island Air President and CEO David Uchiyama said one reason why so many tourism students leave Hawaii for the mainland is because not enough community colleges offer transferable credit for tourism classes.

“One of the weaknesses for us in Hawaii is workforce development. You have the local student who is interested in tourism but leaves for the Mainland because of the local education system,” Uchiyama said. “Students will take tourism classes in community colleges but they are not accepted at colleges here, and colleges on the mainland have capitalized on that so students go there to pursue it. We need to work on some kind of continuity in Hawaii to broaden the workforce overall.”

LEI 2017 will take place on Kauai on April 4, Maui on April 8, Oahu on April 18, and Hawaii Island on April 19.

Katie Murar covers tourism, restaurants, retail and residential real estate for Pacific Business News.

-In courtesy of Pacific Business News

Future Ambassadors of Aloha