BY BOB YEOMAN — Ho‘okipa Workforce Academy
Embassy Suites® - Waikiki Beach Walk® (ESH) welcomed the opportunity to partner with Ho‘okipa Workforce Academy’s College and Career Readiness program at Kaimuki High School. The program provides high school students with the necessary education and training to enter the hospitality workforce upon graduation. To that end, the school created small learning communities, known as academies, within the school’s curriculum.
Students earn one elective credit toward their high school diploma for each year of successful academy completion. An on-campus training center replicates various operations in the industry using donated furniture, fixtures and equipment. Students may select training in front desk services, housekeeping, food & beverage and facility operations with an emphasis on industry standards taught by experts in the hospitality industry.
The authentic environment of hospitality gave the students the opportunity for hands-on learning so they could excel, graduate and begin their careers in the hospitality industry. Mahalo to Carol Lopes, executive housekeeper, Randall Higa, partner and administrator Ho‘okipa Workforce Academy and Team Clean for exemplifying what it is to Care for Each Other.
Stamps of Approval (Place)
ESH also hosted the senior class of Ke Kula Kaiapuni ‘O Ānuenue for a day to help them achieve their goal of sustaining native traditions of our host culture. We provided the space for seniors to create their individually designed kīhei or shoulder cape. Each senior carved out their own designed stamping tool, or ‘ohe kāpala. Yards of material were laid out as “canvas” for these native designs. It was so inspiring and informative to hear why each senior chose a particular design. Parents were also invited to support this cultural effort embracing a unique ‘ohana event. Embassy took the opportunity to share with the seniors and parents our unique Embassy culture and how we care for our guests by designing an experience to Hawai‘i’s Sense of Place.
To show their gratitude, the seniors will share their special and uniquely designed stamps with our housekeeping department. After this endeavor is complete, you will see and hear our housekeepers caring for our guests and our place by singing traditional Hawaiian songs wearing their own heart-made kīhei.
Career Day with Embassy Suite-tality (Each Other)
Carol Lopes was invited to Career Day, or La Kaiaulu 2014, at Ke Kula Kaiapuni ‘O Ānuenue. This unique Hawaiian Language Immersion school is committed to their Core Values, “…We will cultivate, advance and draw from Hawai‘i’s rich traditions and our Native Hawaiian Host culture…”
The aloha was felt as Carol stepped onto the school grounds with smiling students eager and curious to learn about her career as an executive housekeeper and as a Native Hawaiian. Carol was sincerely appreciated by the staff for her unselfish sharing of time, experience and knowledge. Her presence and presentation furthered students’ interest in making better and more educated decisions for themselves and their futures. Mahalo piha, Carol, for sharing our unique Embassy Suite-tality with our keiki.