100+ Middle Schoolers Shadowed Employees with Local Organizations and Government Officials as a Means of Identifying Potential High School, College and Career Pathways

American Savings Bank 1HONOLULU (February 2, 2015) – Today, in conjunction with Groundhog Day, more than 100 6th, 7th and 8th grade students from Mililani Middle and Waianae and Waimanalo Intermediate schools participated in the first-ever Job Shadow Day program for middle schoolers that’s been piloted as a partnership between the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, Junior Achievement Hawaii (JA) and the Department of Education (DOE). Following the success of JA’s high school job shadowing program, the program connects middle schoolers with local organizations and government leaders for mentorship and as a means of identifying potential high school, college and career pathways.

“We’re very pleased with the level of support we’ve received from our business community to make this pilot program successful and to foster students’ interest and curiosity in various career options,” said Chamber of Commerce Hawaii President and CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara. “It’s critical that we continue to invest in and inspire our youth through programs such as these, which provides a valuable hands-on learning experience that cannot be taught in a typical classroom setting.”

Participating job shadow sites and representatives included:

  • American Savings Bank
  • Bank of Hawaii
  • The Hawaii Group (HiHR)
  • Oceanic Time Warner Cable
  • Oceanit
  • O’Connor Playdon & Guben LLP
  • University of Phoenix
  • Senator Maile Shimabukuro
  • Representative Chris Lee
  • Representative Takashi Ohno
  • Hawaii Supreme Court Justice Michael Wilson

Group Photo at CapitolThe program offers middle schoolers first-hand insight on career possibilities and educational paths by partnering them with Hawaii companies and government leaders for one-on-one mentoring. Students participate in site-visit tours, learn about the company’s corporate culture, observe employees’ daily routines and have the opportunity to ask questions.

“It’s amazing to see middle schoolers engaged, inspired and excited about the opportunities ahead of them,” said Junior Achievement Hawaii President Kimberly Canepa. “Students were able to experience what a typical day is like for employees in different industries and jobs and ‘talk story’ with the employees. We’re incredibly thankful to the participating companies and their employees who made this experience so much fun and exposed students to various careers to prepare them for high school and beyond.”

Oceanit 1Added Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, “Groundhog Job Shadow Day 2015 was a successful partnership by Junior Achievement, the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii and our business community. Gaining real-life, on-the-job experiences help to build a healthy curiosity in career options and readies these students early on to start planning for their future.”

For more information on Junior Achievement Hawaii and to get involved as a local business partner, please visit:  jahawaii.com.

About Junior Achievement Hawaii
Junior Achievement of Hawaii was founded in 1957 to educate and inspire young people to value free enterprise, business, and economics. As part of the world’s largest and best-managed economic education partnership program, the program has reached over 6 million students throughout the United States and in nearly 100 member nations. JA Hawaii’s mission is to insure that all of Hawaii’s young people learn financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship skills to foster a competitive 21st century workforce for the State of Hawaii.

About the Hawaii State Department of Education
The Hawaii State Department of Education is among the largest U.S. school districts and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 255 schools and 34 charter schools, and serves more than 180,000 students. King Kamehameha III established Hawaii’s public school system in 1840. The DOE is in the midst of a range of historic efforts to transform its public education system to ensure graduates succeed in college or careers. To learn more, visit

About the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii
As the leading “Voice of Business” in Hawaii, the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii is the state’s largest organization advocating for businesses in Hawaii. Established in 1850, the Chamber works on behalf of its approximately 1,000 member companies and the business community, as a whole, to advance the state’s economic climate and help businesses succeed. The Chamber supports its members with training, business building and networking opportunities; coordinates advocacy activities for members’ involvement; and serves as a liaison between civilian and military communities in Hawaii. Visit cochawaii.org.

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Contact: Lori Abe
808-282-4398 (mobile)

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