LIHUE — Mallory Mosso is looking for another job.
“I work as a housekeeper for Hanalei Vacation Rentals, but sometimes I only work one or two times a month,” she said. “So I really want another job.”
Mosso, 22, was one of about 100 people who attended the job fair at the Kauai Community College Tuesday morning.
“This is my first time ever going to a job fair; it’s really cool,” Mosso said. “I’m glad I came.”
But stepping into the Office of Continuing Education and Training was intimidating, Mosso said.
By day’s end, Mosso was filling out applications for Jamba Juice, Jack in the Box and several other customer service jobs.
“I like the industry,” she said. “I like meeting new people and seeing how their day is going.”
Aiani Cabulisan, 18, wants to break into the industry. On Tuesday, she was applying for a host and cashier position at Aqua-Aston Hospitality, a hotel company based in Honolulu that specializes in full-service hotels and condominium resorts.
Cabulisan, who is employed at Panda Express in Lihue, is looking for more opportunities.
“Just recently, I’ve been thinking of trying something new; I want to start new,” she said.
There is a growing trend of people on the island working in the customer service and hospitality industries, according to the Department of Labor and Industrial Resources.
As of February, there were 9,500 jobs on Kauai in the leisure and hospitality sector, which is broken down into jobs categories like accommodation and food service, accommodation, food services and dining places and full-service restaurants.
Last month, there were also 28,600 jobs in the service producing industry and 24,000 jobs in the private service-producing industry, according to DLIR.
On Tuesday, other employers represented at the job fair included the Kauai Police Department, Walmart, Pier 1 Imports, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa, Sheraton Kauai Resort, Hertz and Central Pacific Bank.
All of the employers were hiring and had multiple positions open.
Kauai Family Visitation Center, which provides a safe environment for visitations between parents and children, is looking to fill positions for visitation monitors and therapists, said Bob Williamson, human resources director.
Other than background checks, there are no specific qualifications for visitation monitors, who act as the third-party during supervised visits with parents and children, he said.
The therapist position requires a master’s degree, Williamson added.
He received about five applications from Tuesday’s fair that look promising.
“That’s good, percentage-wise,” he said.
While Central Pacific Bank has no openings on Kauai, there are teller and accounting positions on Oahu, said Charlene Shiroma, Human Resources Assistant II.
“They’re good positions for people wanting to relocate,” she said.
She said she talked to several people thinking about moving to Oahu and who need a job.
“It makes their transition easier,” she said.
Teller positions require six months experience in the customer service or sales industry and accountants require a degree. Salary is dependent on experience, she said.
This is the first time Shiroma has attended the job fair on Kauai, and she said she was pleased with the turnout.
”There’s a wide array of ages here, which is nice,” she said.
The variety of ages and opportunities was recognized by Fannie Young, a KCC student and job fair volunteer.
“It’s for the whole island, not just KCC students,” she said. “So it’s nice there’s a variety of options for people.”
Kauai Backcountry Adventures, a mountain tubing and zip line adventure company, is hiring tubing guides in preparation for the summer, said Ricky Ikeda, hiring manager.
“Summer is busy, and we’re trying to keep up with it,” he said.
Because the company takes its guests tubing through old sugar cane plantations, it gives the employees a chance to share their culture, Ikeda added.
“We take them into the heart of the island,” he said.
The company likes to hire people in the hospitality industry, but the job is a good fit for anyone who is outgoing and likes to be with people, he said.
For Ikeda, the job fair is important because it serves the community.
“It’s a good way for everyone to come together,” he said. “It’s hard to get a job on Kauai, so this is a chance for everyone to come together and have face time with potential employers.”