Baptiste honors graduates of Academy

Lihu‘e — Mayor Bryan Baptiste congratulated the first class of graduates from the Leadership Empowerment Academy in a ceremony on Thursday night at the Kaua‘i Veteran’s Center.

More than 30 employees County-wide completed the 14-week program designed to improve their organizational and leadership skills, and as a result, make them more valuable to the businesses they help operate.

The Mayor and the Kaua‘i Workforce Investment Board (KWIB) partnered with the Kaua’i Chamber of Commerce to provide the training, which took place June 4 to September 11.

Developed by the Chamber of Commerce and the Kaua‘i Community School for Adults, the curriculum focused on communication, writing skills, customer service, personal development, time management, work relationships and problem solving and decision making.

Participants who completed all seven courses in the training earned a certificate of achievement and were refunded 100 percent of their tuition.

“This is one of the best investments we can make; we are investing in our human resources,” said Mayor Baptiste.

“The collective talent of our people will be the primary factor in our County’s economic vitality. This initiative provides workforce skills for the new, knowledge-based economy.”

As part of the workforce development programs administered by the Office of Economic Development and supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Labor, the Leadership Empowerment Academy aims at helping those already employed advance in their field.

“Incumbent worker training is the key to creating a workforce that attracts new businesses,” said Beth Tokioka, director of the Office of Economic Development.

“By helping employees advance in their companies, we can open up more entry-level positions for new job seekers.”

The Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce has championed leadership training for employees, managers and business owners.

“The Academy addresses many of the fundamental training needs of local business,” said Mamo Cummings, president of the Chamber.

“The alliances formed with the County will help us bring more training to the community.”

As the grant recipient of federal funds to implement the Workforce Investment Act at the local level, the County of Kaua‘i, with the guidance of the Kaua‘i Workforce Investment Board, administers the employment and training programs serving adults, dislocated workers and youth.

Training is provided through Kaua‘i Community School for Adults and Kaua‘i Community College, as well as employer-sponsored on-the-job training and paid work experience.

Appointed by the Mayor, the mission of the KWIB is to support the economic development of Kaua‘i through the workforce development system.

The Board’s vision is a Kaua‘i with a globally competitive and skilled workforce which promotes a diverse and prosperous economy while preserving the island’s unparalleled quality of life.

The Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to promote, develop and improve commerce, quality growth and economic stability in the County of Kaua‘i.

Kaua’i Community School for Adults, a division of the Department of Education, is a KWIB Partner and training provider.

The school provides adult education and life-long learning opportunities for the community.


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