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‘A whole new world’

KEKAHA — More than 40 technology, trades and business students from Kauai Community College visited Pacific Missile Range Facility April 18.

The visit is part of a Workforce Development Grant from the State Legislature’s Grant-In-Aid program that the Kauai Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Council received. The grant is meant to highlight jobs and programs available on military installations in Hawaii.

“The KMAC, under the Chamber of Commerce, advocates for our military Ohana on Kauai, PMRF is the third-largest economic pillar on the island,” said Michelle Emura, Kauai Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Council chair. As almost all of PMRF’S workforce are civilian contractors, building a workforce for the military to carry out their missions is critical.”

The students began their tour with a brief from Commanding Officer Capt. Vinnie Johnson, in the Daniel K. Inouye Range Operations Center. During the brief the students learned more about various functions of the base, the mission of training and testing, as well as basic information about the personnel on base.

“I thought the brief from the captain was really impactful,” said Kawai Ka‘ahuhui, an automotive trades student. She continued saying how much she had learned during the brief and how it was all new information she had never realized before.

After the brief, the students made their way to the PMRF Fire Station and learned more about contract job opportunities on base from Ross West, program manager for Manu Kai.

The students were then divided into groups based on their degree plans and spent time talking with employees about the jobs on base and specific questions on schooling, training opportunities, and career options on base.

“I think this was a really good visit,” said Demetrio Castillo, a carpentry trades student. “I learned a lot about how things work on the base and how the program focuses on maintenance.”

“I really thought this visit was a good opportunity,” said Jarren Casem, an electrical maintenance and installation student. “I want to be a journeyman electrician and it’s good to know there are jobs out here and I could be an electrician here. It opens up a whole new world of opportunities on the island.”

PMRF is the largest high-tech employer on Kauai, providing more than 800 government and contract jobs to the local workforce.

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Sara B. Sexton is a mass communication specialist second class with the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility Public Affairs section.
Source: The Garden Island

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