PUHI – Mia Ako is looking for more than a few good men.
Actually, she is
looking for 40 people between the ages of 19 and 24 who are ready, willing and
able to begin training Monday, May 15, to participate in a project to beautify
roads leading to Lihu’e Airport.
The Gateway Project is finally about to
begin, with a notice to proceed to successful bidder Kaua’i Nursery &
Landscaping, Inc. expected out by Monday, June 5, said Ako, counselor and
recruiter with the federal Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) program at
Kaua’i Community College.
The training and recruitment are ongoing, and
people between the eligible ages need only be “motivated and committed,” she
Those who meet income criteria and possess the above-mentioned traits
are eligible for six weeks of unpaid classroom training free of charge, in
areas such as landscaping, irrigation systems, landscape maintenance, plant
propagation, and safe and correct use of power equipment necessary to carry out
the work of making the vehicular intersections near the airport befit the
nickname of Kaua’i as the garden isle.
The training will also include work
at KCC’s farm, in planting and propagation.
Those who successfully complete
the training will be offered work with KNL, which will need workers as early as
July, she said.
Young people will be offered 18 weeks of paid work on the
Gateway Project through KNL. The entire project is expected to take 18 months
Ako said Jerry Nishek of KNL has indicated to her that some of
the participants in this project may be offered further employment by KNL after
the 18 weeks.
The project is a unique federal-state-private partnership,
with funds coming from the U.S. Department of Labor (job training) and U.S.
Department of Transportation (Urban Youth Corps).
Ako has five students in
the training now, and is looking for 40 more.
Once the major work is done,
Eddie Sarita, the county’s Convention Hall manager and Ho’olokahi volunteer
program coordinator, will be responsible for organizing hundreds of volunteer
groups to maintain the Gateway Project, Ako explained.
beautification project covers Ahukini Road from the airport to its intersection
with Kuhio Highway, plus Kapule Highway from its beginning at Rice Street to
its end at Kuhio Highway in Hanama’ulu.
The entire Gateway Project has a
budget of $7 million, and part of the project includes planting flowering trees
and tropical plants along these state roads to give visitors a positive
impression of the island as they arrive and leave.
For more information,
call Ako, 245-8354, or JTPA, 245-8280.