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student making a dessert
Students showcased their dishes at a luncheon on February 21, 2019.

More than 15 soon-to-be released or furloughed inmates incarcerated at the Maui County Correctional Center recently completed approximately 56 hours of workforce industry training from the Office of Extended Learning and Workforce Development at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College.

Through a partnership with the state Department of Public Safety, participants completed prep cook, building maintenance and construction classes, as they showcased their skills at a luncheon on February 21 to mark the culmination of the program.

“The classes provided an opportunity to learn industry-standard procedures, as well as practical application of math, such as measuring ingredients for recipes, which are crucial skills expected in the workplace,” said Dean Louie, chef instructor for his seventh prep cook cohort. “More importantly, the classes instill the value of professionalism, ethics and reliability in careers.”

Prep cook students earned a certificate of professional development and the ServSafe Food Handler Certification. They now have the fundamental skills to work as service prep workers or pantry cooks in the hospitality or food industry.

students with their instructor
Building construction students with their instructor Matt Gleason.

Meanwhile, students from the building maintenance and construction class trained in using standard hardware tools, while applying safety skills they learned to carpentry, electrical, plumbing and blueprint reading. The class provided essential skills training should they want to apply for a construction apprenticeship.

“The students now have more confidence because of their experience in the program, and can better assimilate back in the workforce, giving them a second shot to be successful in life,” said Mike Young, apprenticeship coordinator and instructor for the class. “We feel fortunate to have this opportunity to make a positive influence, and wish our students all the best as they begin a new life in the workforce.”

To support these programs and for more information, email or call (808) 984-3231.

—By Kit Furukawa

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