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LEI: Leadership, Exploration and Inspiration Program for Hospitality Industry

Wayne Yoshioka
Governor Ige

Hundreds of O’ahu high school students are spending the day being exposed to career opportunities in the state’s top industries:  hospitality and tourism.  The program is sponsored by the Hawai’i Tourism Authority in partnership with Climb High-Hawai’i.  Julie Morikawa is president and CEO of Climb-High.        

“This program is called the LEI Program, which is an acronym for Leadership, Exploration and Inspiration.  We bring in about a thousand students for a day-long event.  It starts with leadership speeches and then they go out for exposure to different hotels.  Today on O’ahu we have over 20 hotels participating.  And then they come back for a career fair where we’ll have over 60 businesses waiting to receive them.  And everything ties back so at the career fair we have hotels, activity companies, to farmers to banks to lawyers to policeman and fireman.  We have post-secondary educational institutions.  You name it, they’re all here.  And that’s what the point is to help our youth see that whatever their interests may be there’s a path for them and there’s people that are here to help them get there.”

Governor David Ige also attended the day-long program.  He says today’s public education system is focused on connecting students to careers.

“The public schools have done a terrific job of making opportunities available to students earlier in their academic career.  We do know that project based learning; getting students connected to real challenges faced by businesses and other organizations are the best way for them to learn.  Robotics talks about science, technology, engineering and math.  Digital and creative media is targeted at exposing our young people to the media of today.  This LEI program is really about hospitality and this is a prime example of an opportunity for us to allow our students to explore different career choices.”

TAG:  For more information on the LEI program go to Climb H-I-dot-org.

Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka is an award-winning journalist who has worked in television, print and radio in Hawaiʻi. He also has been on both sides of politics as a state departmental appointee and political/government reporter. He covered Hurricane Iwa (1982) as a TV reporter; was the State Department of Defense/Civil Defense spokesperson for Hurricane Iniki (1992); and, commanded a public affairs detachment in Afghanistan (2006). He has a master's degree in Communication from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is a decorated combat veteran (Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and 22 other commendation/service medals). He resides in Honolulu.
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