100,000 endowment to pair students, tourism professionals

It is a blatant attempt to grow local leadership for the visitor industry, said Kaua’i Community College Provost Peggy Cha about a $100,000 endowment from leaders of Takenaka Corporation to officials at KCC.

The Takenaka endowment will be used to give KCC students more hands-on, real-world training in visitor-industry programs, by pairing students with tourism-management professionals, she explained.

It shows “their real commitment to grow leadership in the visitor industry from local students,” Cha said of the Takenaka principals, including Toichi Takenaka, president and chief executive officer of Takenaka Corporation.

It will take around one year before enough interest income is generated by the invested endowment before there will be enough funds for stipends for one or more students to work alongside visitor-industry professionals, and will take about that long also to set up the course parameters, Cha explained.

The first year funds are available, there should be around $3,000 available for stipends, or 3 percent of the endowment amount, and more as the endowment generates more interest income, she said.

The plan is to have one student, or more than one student, possibly, work with a person or persons in the visitor industry, at a resort or restaurant, whether it be in food and beverage, customer service, resort management or some other area, as part of a course, with instructional out-comes established in advance, said Cha.

Students will gain course credit and, more importantly, real “experience in the work world,” she explained.

“This is exactly in line with our host program to increase opportunities to link learning and working.”

The fund is being handled by officials with the University of Hawai’i Foundation.

The check presentation happened during a simultaneous ceremony marking the 15-year anniversary of the Hyatt Regency Kauai Resort & Spa, its rededication as the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, and 12th year of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf at the Poipu Bay Golf Course.

In honor of the milestones, leaders with the Takenaka Corporation established the KCC endowment fund. They also established other endowment funds for various programs and needs on Kaua’i.

These donations represent the commitment of officials of the Takenaka Corporation to help provide educational, cultural and economic opportunities to members of the Kaua’i community, and to thank members of the community for supporting the company over the years, Cha added.

“We are extremely appreciative of Takenaka’s generosity,” for their willingness to be involved and be part of the community, Cha added.

The Takenaka Corporation (www.takenaka.co.jp/takenaka_e/), with headquarters in Osaka, Japan, is one of the largest planning, architectural, engineering, and construction companies in the world, with a history spanning 400 years.

The comppany has offices in Europe, Asia, and throughout the United States.

Officials with the Takenaka Corporation’s wholly-owned subsidiary, TAK Hawai’i, have operated in Hawai’i for many years. On Kaua’i, the Takenaka Corporation owns Kawailoa Development, dba the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa and Poipu Bay Golf Course.

  • Paul C. Curtis, associate editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224).
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