Shirai gets new hat

Calvin Shirai, formerly the auxiliary services officer for the Kauai Community College, has been named the director for the KCC Office of Continuing Education and Training.

Brandon Shimokawa, KCC vice chancellor for administrative services, said the promotion was done in February and Shirai marched in the Kauai Community College commencement exercises with his new hat of responsibilities.

What is your primary responsibility as head of OCET?

The role of director for OCET covers the responsibility of the overall operations of the Office of Continuing Education and Training, the Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center, International Education, and the Apprenticeship program.

OCET offers non-credit courses in career training, workforce professional development, and personal enrichment. These courses range from entrepreneurship training, employee development to personal enrichment courses such as beginning tennis and wine tasting.

What are some of the classes people can look forward to?

We have a class on cooking coming up with Chef Rafael Camarillo that is being coordinated by Peggy Lake.

Both Peggy and Cheryl Stigilmeier have put together an awesome array of courses to enroll in.

Cheryl is coordinating the Summer Kids College which starts classes June 13. Registration for that is taking place right now.

Summer Kids College is for children ages 11 through 13 years old where the youngsters can get hands-on experience in woodworking, robotics, electricity, and science myths.

They will get their hands dirty digging in the soil in “A” is for agriculture, and will have grease up to their elbows when learning about car maintenance in “ABC’s of Automotive.”

What are some of the other programs under the OCET umbrella?

Tony Kilbert and Kent Tanigawa of the Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center provide an excellent cost effective venue for shows and performances that culturally enrich the lives of our community.

Kyoko Ikeda Chun operates the International Education Program. This program brings students from countries such as Canada and Japan to learn about Hawaii and its culture.

Part of this program is a homestay weekend where the students learn firsthand about how we live on Kauai. We’re always looking for host families for the homestay — especially this summer when we are expecting a lot of traffic. The homestay is an enjoyable experience for both the student and the host family — I know because I did several homestays.

Another part of OCET is the apprenticeship program where courses are offered for apprentices in the different trades such as carpentry, electricians, cable, masons, sheet metal, plumbers and laborers.

How do people find out about these courses?

There is a website, which offers course listings and registration information.

Jennifer Defuntorum, Crystal Bethel, and Marisa Marshall-Yotsuda handle all of the registrations at 245-8318. They also have honey from the college’s apiary program available.

What were you doing before being named the OCET director?

I spent the past nine years as the auxiliary services officer for the Kauai Community College where my responsibility was for the facilities and grounds.

(Shimokawa noted the ongoing $4 million upgrade to the Learning Resource Center air conditioning as well as some of the other construction taking place on campus during the summer was part of Shirai’s responsibility as the auxiliary services officer).

Prior to coming to the Kauai Community College, I worked as the project coordinator for the Rural Development Project, and as executive director for the Kauai Business Assistance Program. I also did work for the West Kauai Main Street Program.

What is your background?

I was born and raised in Waimea. I attended Waimea High School and the University of Oregon.

I’ve been married for 35 years and have two sons.

The most enjoyable thing for me is helping the people in the community.

Everything from coaching youth baseball to helping out at the Waimea Town Celebration, and teaching community members life skills has been a joy for me.

As the director for OCET, what are some of your plans?

I would like to expand the amount of courses we are offering people, especially in the areas of business development, and more personal enrichment classes.

I will be looking at the Summer Kids College program to possibly expand on the age groups to make it available to more students and young people. On that line, I would be looking at making sessions available during the schools’ winter and spring breaks.

I would like to work with the Small Business Development Center in possibly developing a center for entrepreneurship, and I will continue to work with the Office of Economic Development, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Consortium, and WDD to develop programs to help our community.


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