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Food preparation

Kapiʻolani Community College is offering two apprenticeship programs for food service employees to raise their level of skills, productivity and retention.

Hawaiʻi Cook Apprenticeship Program

The first program, Hawaiʻi Cook Apprenticeship Program, will begin its fourth round of classes on April 26. This culinary apprenticeship program has successfully graduated 200 apprentices during its first three sessions. Participants should be currently working in a food-service position or be willing to be placed into a position in the industry to take part in the program.

Employees of food-service establishments may be referred by their employers to receive 210 hours of quality culinary instruction, at no cost to the employer or apprentice. Participants receive the equivalent of $1,638 worth of instruction (13 credits at $126 a credit for local tuition at Kapiʻolani CC) for free. This opportunity is ideal for anyone in the culinary industry who has never had the opportunity to attend a college-level culinary class.

Cook apprentices will participate in 30 weeks of training. They will attend a six-hour,in-person, hands-on culinary instruction lab class each week at the Kapiʻolani campus on Basics of Cooking (either Fridays or Sundays) and take classes on ServSafe food safety, culinary nutrition, menu planning and overall food service.

Hawaiʻi Restaurant Manager Apprentice Program

The second program, the new Hawaiʻi Restaurant Manager Apprentice Program, offers its first round of classes starting April 22. This program offers anyone who is either currently working as a restaurant manager, or would like to be elevated into that position, five (5) free online classes: manager level ServSafe food safety, hospitality human resources, restaurant management, restaurant marketing and controlling food service costs.

This program is available to anyone statewide. Classes are taken online, and testing can be done at University of Hawaiʻi testing centers on any island. This program offers an incredible opportunity for anyone in restaurant management or someone who would like to move up the career ladder.

Both programs are funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship USA State Expansion Grant, issued to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Workforce Development Division Office.

To qualify, applicants must be at least 17 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED, possess a speaking and reading ability essential for personal and coworker safety on the job, be physically capable of performing the essential functions of a professional kitchen (for cooks) and have current TB clearance and MMR inoculations.

Space is limited for both programs, which are filling up quickly. Employers are encouraged to contact Program Coordinator Marcus Fikse as soon as possible via email at or by calling (808) 734-9477.

Graduate hugging instructors
Apprentice graduation ceremony
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