Job-seekers’ market

  • Bethany Freudenthal / The Garden Island

    Alan Castillo

  • Bethany Freudenthal / The Garden Island

    Anela Segreti

  • Bethany Freudenthal / The Garden Island

    Luana Carreira

  • Bethany Freudenthal / The Garden Island

    Rose Buchanan

  • Bethany Freudenthal / The Garden Island

    Brandon Yoshimoto

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Eddie Tuydingco and Darren Curameng of the Sullivan Corp. field questions from Cora Balocan, a former Big Kmart employee, about opportunities in different parts of the island Wednesday during the American Job Center Hawaii Kauai Job Fair at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihue.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Wendy Akita of Akita Enterprises, seated center, answers questions from a person inquiring about positions other than bus driver Wednesday during the American Job Center Hawaii Kauai Job Fair at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihue.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Former employees of Big Kmart are among nearly 100 people seeking employment opportunities from more than 50 vendors Wednesday during the American Job Center Hawaii Kauai Job Fair at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihue.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Roxanne Laguatan, Cora Balocan, Leona Villatora, Precy Nuesca, Charmaine Kafovalu, Debbie Yoshimitsu and Ashley Pascual, all former employees of Big Kmart, leave the Kauai Job Fair Wednesday with hopes of phone calls after spending the morning at the Lihue Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall picking up information, filling out applications and searching for jobs.

LIHUE — Luana Carreira of Kapahi is looking for work.

“I’m looking for anything in the hospitality or food industry,” she said.

Carreira said potential employers should hire her because she’s friendly and outgoing, excels in customer service and has the aloha spirit.

Which is what brought her, along with a few hundred others, to the job fair Wednesday at Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihue during a recruiting event.

About 50 booths representing employment opportunities lined the foyer.

McDonald’s on Kauai is looking to hire about 80 new employees, and for first-time job seekers, this is a great opportunity, said Brandon Yoshimoto.

“Then you can apply on your resume that you’ve worked at McDonald’s, you’ve learned that business work skills,” said the restaurant’s area supervisor at the fair.

It’s also a flexible job that can work well for those with other jobs and other commitments. The starting pay is $10.25, but that may increase.

“One thing we are proud that we can offer is, we’re not asking that you have to commit to five days a week, 40 hours,” he said.

Y. Hata &Company Limited, a locally owned food distributor, is also hiring.

“We’re mainly looking for just like our drivers, CDL, non-CDL, and then our warehouse positions, day or night. So the day would be our forklift operator and the night would be our night order selector,” said Sophia Lam, representing the company.

Training is available, she said, but it would be beneficial if applicants had food distribution experience from prior companies, she said.

Lihue resident Alan Castillo was busy filling out an application for Aloha Contract Services during the job fair. The customer service position was attractive to him because he already has experience in the field.

He appreciated having so many potential employers on site.

“It’s a little overwhelming. I don’t know what booth to go to,” he said.

Good employees are in demand.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August in Hawaii was 2.1 percent for the third consecutive month.

Statewide, 672,700 were employed and 14,600 unemployed in August, for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 687,300.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in August, the same as in July.

On Kauai, the unemployment rate was 2.3 percent, the same as July, but up from 2 percent in August 2017.

Easter Seals Hawaii is a great place to work if you want to make a difference in someone’s life, said Anela Segreti, the organization’s statewide employment services manager.

They are looking for program assistants, case coordinators and associates.

“So we have all kinds of jobs available, working with people with disabilities,” she said.

Employees can expect to assist clients with their daily living tasks, with their employment, and helping them to be active members of their community.

“It’s a career with a purpose. You’re helping people,” Segreti said. “It’s not a job definitely if you’re trying to make a paycheck, we are a not-for-profit organization, but if you’re definitely looking to make a difference in a person’s life, this is a career with a purpose.”

Rose Buchanan moved to Kauai about a week ago and is looking for work. She liked the job fair.

“Lots of opportunities. If you are really looking for work you’re going to find it. I have some excellent possibilities. I’m excited,” she said.

She said she has previous experience as a security guard but has to pass the Hawaii test in order to work here and the next class doesn’t begin until next month.

“In the meantime, I’m open to new experiences,” she said.

The advantage of attending the job fair is that all of the jobs and resources are available in one place, Carreira said.

“Before this I went to the American Job Finders, which used to be the old Workwise, and I updated my resume, was able to fine-tune it, was able to make multiple copies, and came straight over here,” she said.

Carreira said she was pleasantly surprised with how many organizations and businesses were represented at the job fair.

“They make it easy. There’s computers available for you to do online applications right now, they have tables available to do written physical applications,” she said. “This is a great opportunity to come out and see what Kauai has as far as job openings right now.”


Bethany Freudenthal, crime, courts and county reporter, can be reached at 652-7891 or

  1. hutch October 14, 2018 12:15 am Reply

    Well, gee, I wonder where all this prosperity came from. Couldn’t possibly be due to the atrocious policies of Donald Trump, so I guess maybe the Tooth Fairy is branching out into employment. Honestly, it’s just laughable that this and 99% of other newspapers and TV news outlets in this country just can’t bring themselves to give credit where it’s due: Donald J. Trump. Oh, for the glory years of Obama, when unemployment, especially in black communities, was rampant and people didn’t have two nickels to rub together. Shame Bethany Fruedenthal, shame Garden Island, for not pointing out the obvious.

  2. Da Shadow October 14, 2018 11:46 am Reply

    $10.50 per hour? on Kauai?
    instead of pushing poverty-level employment, Mayor Carvalho should lift the vacation-rental ban on the North Shore, providing much needed jobs and income for residents who’ve been hit hard by the moratorium.

  3. Objectivity October 19, 2018 4:35 am Reply

    Hawaii already had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation before Donald Trump became president. The state’s unemployment rate peaked in 2010 after the recession, and started a steady decline in 2012. If you google a chart on Hawaii’s unemployment history, it will be obvious that the majority of the improvement happened while Obama was president. You’d also find a recent article in the Star Advertiser that the state’s unemployment rate rose to a one-year high of 2.2 in September and is projected to rise to 2.5% in coming months because Hawaii’s economy is SLOWING DOWN. Go sell your GOP kool-ade somewhere else.

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