WAIMEA — The Kaua‘i Economic Development Board (KEDB) and its board of directors celebrated a blessing by Kahu Jade Waialeale Battad, as well as the groundbreaking of its renovation project in Waimea on Monday.
The blessing hinted at the future KEDB programming, which involvesa high tech workforce development hub that will take place in the renovated Waimea Creative Technology Center building.
KEDB Director Jackie Kanna said, “Do you realize that we’re the only island that doesn’t have a Commercial Drivers License, commonly known as CDL, simulator? All the other islands have CDL simulators, but us.”
“We’ve been working on this for a long time,” said KEDB board member Patrick Ono. “I can’t wait to see the programs start. Especially the CDL simulator, we’ve been pushing hard for this.”
The high tech workforce development program involves classes and certification of areas, including digital animation, Native Hawaiian storytelling, Unreal Engine Training, a CID Creative Lab or music ideation program and Game Dev HQ.
“The key is certification,” Kanna said. “A lot of people, who need certification, need to travel to at least O‘ahu. By including a new tenant to the renovated building, the certifications can be done here.”
Kaina said the success of the programming is already being demonstrated by the number of people who come to Kaua‘i to take their certification tests.
The start of the renovation project that is budgeted at between $1.7 and $2 million is already underway as workers from General Contractor Shioi Construction Company roused themselves from the shade in the WCTC parking lot.
“The funding is just for the construction phase,” Kaina said. “The Community Project Funding was with the help of Kai Kahele. We’re currently working on funding for the programming phase.”
The construction of the renovation project, which includes reworking at least two rooms in the WCTC building. is scheduled to finish by the end of May.
Source: The Garden Island