culinary students
Career & Community culinary class of 2019

The first-of-its-kind food service training partnership at Windward Community College served up some rave reviews. The college’s Career and Community Education program launched Hiilaniwai Foodservice Innovation Training (HIFIT) in December with five students from the City and County of Honolulu’s WorkHawaii Youth Program.

The students completed 208 hours of classroom and lab time focusing on culinary fundamentals, baking, cold kitchen preparations, food safety and international cuisine.

“I enjoyed learning the different methods to cooking and baking, making homemade pasta was a memorable moment for me,” said Mason F., a student graduate. “What I’ve gained would be being able to schedule out the timing for the day. The support by the staff at the City and County office is great. They have kept me on track to meet my goals of program completion and graduation. This was an awesome program!”

This was HIFIT’s first partnership in culinary training. The program teaches skills that students need to enter the foodservice workforce, along with life skills in leadership, management, sustainability and other personal attributes that can increase their potential to contribute to their community. Disciplines such as baking integrate both academic and vocational skills by teaching not only proper techniques in the craft, but also math and science. This approach makes it more relevant to students and highlights the importance of academics beyond creating quality baked goods.

The WorkHawaii Youth Program is designed to assist young adults, ages 16 to 24, achieve their educational and employment goals. To accomplish these goals, the program partners with colleges, businesses and nonprofits across Oʻahu to provide occupational training and work experience opportunities.

For more information contact Daniel Swift at (808) 235-7357 or

—By Bonnie Beatson