By Sara B. Sexton, Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class, PMRF Public Affairs

Students from Kaua‘i Community College sit during a brief on job opportunities at Pacific Missile Range Facility. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy/Sara B. Sexton

The Pacific Missile Range Facility welcomed more than 40 technology, trades and business students from Kaua‘i Community College eager to learn more about the facility’s job opportunities April 18.

The visit is part of a Workforce Development Grant from the State Legislature’s Grant-In-Aid program the Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Council received. The grant is meant to highlight jobs and programs available on military installations in Hawai‘i.

“The KMAC, under the Chamber of Commerce, advocates for our military Ohana on Kauai, PMRF is the third largest economic pillar on the island,” said Michelle Emura, Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce, Military Affairs Council Chair. “As almost all of PMRF’s workforce are civilian contractors, building a workforce for the military to carry out their missions is critical.”

The students began their tour with a brief from Commanding Officer Capt. Vinnie Johnson, in the Daniel K. Inouye Range Operations Center. During the brief the students learned more about various functions of the base, the mission of training and testing, as well as basic information about the personnel on base.

Demetrio Castillo, center, and Rommel Rondal, right, students from Kaua‘i Community College, learn about the carpentry shop and job available at Pacific Missile Range Facility. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy/Sara B. Sexton

“I thought the brief from the Captain [Johnson] was really impactful,” said Kawai Ka‘ahuhui, an automotive trades student. She added how much she had learned during the brief and how it was all new information she had never realized before.

After the brief, the students made their way to the PMRF Fire Station and learned more about contract job opportunities on base from Ross West, program manager for Manu Kai.

The students were then divided into groups based on their degree plans and spent time talking with employees about the jobs on base and specific questions on schooling, training opportunities, and career options on base.

“I think this was a really good visit,” said Demetrio Castillo, a carpentry trades student. “I learned a lot about how things work on the base and how the program focuses on maintenance.”

At the end of their time on base the students ate lunch at the on-base restaurant Shenanigans and reflected on their day.

“I really thought this visit was a good opportunity,” said Jarren Casem, an electrical maintenance and installation student. “I want to be a journeyman electrician and it’s good to know there are jobs out here and I could be an electrician here. It opens up a whole new world of opportunities on the island.”

PMRF is the largest high-tech employer on Kaua‘i, providing more than 800 government and contract jobs to the local workforce.