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GoCook! Hawaii Fast-Track Food Service Training Program
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  Stan Fichtman, Grant Manager
  Kapi’olani Community College, HI



The Culinary Arts Program at Kapi’olani Community College created a non-credit workforce development program, GoCook! Hawai‘i, through the Trade Adjustment Act Community College to Career training grant, to offer free culinary arts training. This program is designed to prepare anyone with an interest in entering the food service industry with the essential knowledge and skills necessary to succeed. The GoCook! Hawai‘i program is a place-based apprenticeship program modeled after a highly successful employment training program developed at this institution.

Through developing partnerships and leveraging resources, the GoCook! Hawai‘i program offers a strategically unique opportunity for its participants. The dual-focused, multi-stream approaches ensure the needs of industry and of community are being served. Latticed into this strategic alignment is the ability to take advantage of capacity resources at Kapi‘olani Community College.

According to the State of Hawaii’s Department of Labor’s Long Term Occupational Projections, specific culinary industries in the state such as Cooks (Institution and Cafeteria) and Cooks (Restaurant), will see double digit growth over the next 10 years. Training programs such as GoCook! Hawai‘i provide vital services to fill the shortfalls in staffing our local restaurants. This industry is critical in meeting the needs and wants of the state’s tourist industry and local consumers, alike.

The response from industry, participants and service-providers has been fantastic. Quality training from a well-established culinary arts school motivates all participants. This brand recognition has proven invaluable to gain the trust of stakeholders. Participants have been enriched and life-changing opportunities have been given to people who had nearly given up.

This life-change in GoCook! Hawai‘i participants has been documented through the media, as well as within the school itself. These stories have become symbols of success not only in the grant program that funds GoCook! Hawai‘i, but throughout the campus and the community college system.

Clearly, this program is well-suited for integration into most any workforce training program. Key highlights are to secure a well-motivated staff, clearly defined roles and responsibilities, and capacity to give necessary training. When branded with a highly regarded institution, graduates are doubly rewarded, with great resources and a higher sense of pride through accomplishment, and industry’s regard and acceptance of skills well-earned.

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