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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Caring for soil to grow food is taught in Kohala Center programs. Kohala Center will be a collaborator in the new 
 Islands & Remote Area USDA Regional Food Business Center. Photo from Kohala Center

AN ISLANDS & REMOTE AREA USDA REGIONAL FOOD BUSINESS CENTER will be established in Hawai'i. According to a USDA statement released Tuesday, the center will play a rule "in supporting indigenous farmers, ranchers, and food businesses and promoting food security in isolated islands and remote areas....The goal of these Centers is to help farmers, ranchers, and other food businesses access new markets and navigate federal, state, and local resources, thereby closing the gaps to success."

    To kick off the Regional Food Business Center in this area, USDA Deputy Undersecretary Mae Wu visited Hawai'i on Tuesday and announced that the organizer of the Center in these islands will be Hawai'i Good Food Center in Wai'anae. While it is based on O'ahu, it is tasked with helping to expand nutrition security throughout the islands by supporting farmers, ranchers and food businesses in the Asia American Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander community.               
    Twelve Regional Food Business Centers across the country will receive $400 million in funding and serve Hawaiʻi, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Alaska, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hawai'i Island based collaborators with Hawai'i Good Food Center include The Kohala Center, The Food Basket and UH College of Tropical Agriculture.

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HAWAI'I-PHILIPPINES BUSINESS ECONOMIC COUNCIL reminds local farms, ranches and businesses of the workforce available from the Philippines. It will host an online session on June 7 at 4 p.m. Hawaiian time and June 8 at 10 a.m. Philippines time. It's called Workforce Recruitment Trends: How Filipinos Continue to Support the World's Labor Pool. The Council invites people to "Learn how the Filipino Diaspora came about—how a Philippine company found the right talents for global needs." It also invites listeners to learn how the Hawai'i state Department of Education has recruited Filipinos to work in Hawai'i's schools. Panelists include:
    Bennette Misalucha, Executive Director of Hawai’i’s Workforce Development Council and former state Senator. She has held executive positions in banking, marketing, public policy and community outreach sectors, often pioneering roles for women and minorities which have brought her several awards and distinction. Her work experiences include VP and Regional Director for Government & Community Relations for Actus Lend Lease, LLC, and Senior Vice President at Central Pacific Bank. Early in her

career, Misalucha was a television reporter and news producer, in Hawai’i at KHON Channel 2 News and the Philippines.
    James Urbaniak, Lead Teacher Recruiter for the Hawai’i state Department of Education. He attended Rutgers University for his undergraduate and graduate education and moved to Hawai'i in 2007 to teach middle school English. Following several years in the classroom becoming a union organizer HSTA teachers union, he transitioned to teacher recruitment and now oversees the hiring of all public-school teachers statewide. Urbaniak says he is passionate about international teacher recruitment and leads the J-1 Visa Program with Department of State Visa Sponsor Alliance Abroad Group, Inc and Foreign Cultural Exchange Consultants Inc. to recruit teachers from the Philippines
    Winnie Ferrer, a public relations consultant with PARMAN INC. a Philippine-based workforce recruiter that has sent 30,000+ Filipino workers to all corners of the world to operate cranes build bridges, dig wells, and maintain power plants--from oil rigs to hotels, skyscrapers to naval facilities. Since its inception in the 1970s the company has found the right Filipino talent to fit global needs and fomented the Filipino Diaspora. This company is a family-run business founded by her dad, Juanito N. Ferrer, a retired colonel. Ferrer began his career as Baguio’s City Engineer in 1950 and went on to become the Secretary for Public Works under the Aquino administration.
    Tim Mobley, President of Connext Global Solutions, a business process outsourcing firm. Connext was established in 2014 to address specific pain points experienced in the traditional outsourcing model. The company has grown from a local business services provider to a booming global enterprise with a growth rate exceeding 80%. Since 2019, it has doubled its growth and now support middle-market companies across the US and Europe. Its support centers are located at Angeles & Davao in the Philippines. Mobley graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point, with an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
    Register for the zoom meeting at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMsf-CtrD8pEt1gveT6STrEvDFQYETajGYo#/registration. See more on Hawai'i Philippines Business Council at hpbec.com.

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EVOLUTION OF KAPĀPALA RANCH will be the subject of a talk and slide-show presentation this month at Volcano Art Center.  It's set for Thursday, June 22 in the Art Center’s Dietrich Varez Hall. The talk is free but donations are welcome. The time is from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
History of Kapapala Ranch will be the topic at
Volcano Art Center on June 22. Photo from VAC
    Lani Petrie helped to run Kapāpala Ranch with her late father and mother Gordon and Geneveve Cran under a state lease that began in 1977. She more recently took over management with her husband Bill. They will cover the ecology and history of the area, taking people on a trip through the area’s ecology and pre-history, the Great Mahele, plantation days, and more than 160 years of Kapāpala as a working ranch. Lani and Bill Petrie will also discuss the ranchʻs relationship to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, state forest reserves, Highway 11, Ohaikea, Kipuka Ki, and the recent transfer of the property to the state Department of Agriculture. 
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