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Leadership Kaua‘i shifts focus with help from grant

w Editor’s note: This is a continuation of a series of articles looking at the CARES Act Grant and how Kaua‘i groups are using these funds.

LIHU‘E — The workforce is continuously evolving, and with COVID-19 there’s an additional emphasis being placed on developing leadership skills.

Char Ravelo, executive director of Leadership Kaua‘i, knows that with all of the unknowns related to the changing work climate, it is imperative to be more prepared than ever to enter the workforce.

“With CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and government guidelines for safe distancing and thinking outside the box, they have expanded to create and ideate how to do what we do differently to facilitate rich learning opportunities and experiences,” Ravelo said.

With a tremendous increase in the need for webinars and virtual meetings, learning and discussing how to deal with the uncertain climate that COVID-19 has created is vitally important, she said.

“Here’s one certainly: As COVID-19 unknowns continue to bring constant change, what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow,” Ravelo said.

Leadership Kaua‘i received a $65,000 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act grant from the county to start their “Rise to Work” program.

The current programs offered switched from in-person learning to virtual-learning engagement with participants.

Leadership Kaua‘i is in the research and development phase of designing pre-recorded courses. Leadership classes are for capacity-building, skills for a leader’s tool kit and current networking issues geared towards cultivating people’s skill sets in the workforce.

“Generally speaking, topics are organizational and teach management skills, corporate social responsibility, board governance, equity-diversity inclusion, public relations, marketing, entrepreneurship and innovation,” Ravelo said.

The leadership section is part of a Kupa‘a Kaua‘i and an organization focused on pulling together and maintaining a commitment level to rebuilding Kaua‘i’s economy by offering leadership and skill-building courses to the community.

A portion of Kupa‘a Kaua‘i’s mission statement says anyone can show their commitment to working together to rebuild, restart and re-energize the community’s future to help bolster the economy dramatically affected by COVID-19.

Ravelo continues to emphasize making the necessary adjustments at workplaces in the COVID-19 era in which all now live.

“The ability to read body language is crucial in perceiving and understanding what is being said,” Ravelo stated.

“COVID-19 mask-wearing and virtual learning have created another barrier layer when speaking to one another. Today, there is an even greater chance for miscommunication and missed opportunities for understanding, especially if the person is an introvert and feels inferior at the moment,” she said.

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Jason Blasco, sports reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or jblasco@thegardenisland.com.

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