Hotel workers mentor island students

NAWILIWILI — On Friday 20 students from Kapa‘a Middle School descended on the Marriott resort at Kalapaki Beach to get a real-world experience of resort operations and the visitor industry.

They joined a group of about two dozen students who visited the Marriott the previous week.

Those students, some from the Kaua‘i High School Academy of Hospitality and Tourism, were treated to a visit with J.W. Marriott Jr., chairman and CEO of the resort chain that bears his name.

According to a press release from Jolene Ogle of the Kaua‘i Marriott’s Human Resources office, Marriott visits more than 250 hotels a year and meets with its employees.

“The AOHT students were in for a real treat, actually getting to meet and shake the hand of the real Mr. Marriott whose name is on all the hotels,” Ogle said in the release.

During the AOHT students’ visit, Chuck Brady, director of Human Resources, greeted the students before the group split up to visit three of the Marriott on Kaua‘i properties.

Leah Aiwohi, the director of the AOHT, chaperoned the students headed for the Waiohai Marriott Beach Club. Lani Aranio, director of human resources at Kaua‘i Lagoons, encouraged all of the students to take advantage of this unique opportunity to ask a lot of questions of their hosts.

This is the only way students can decide if this is the “right” career path for them, Aranio said.

Friday’s visit by the Kapa‘a Middle School eighth-graders was just a continuation of a series of events that the Kaua‘i Marriott is involved in.

The Kaua‘i Marriott is just one of a network of businesses and resort operations that take part in a national Groundhog Job Shadow Day experience where students are exposed to hands-on experiences.


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