HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Longtime Makakilo Resident and Hotel Executive Leslie Cho is no stranger to Westside traffic— she has been commuting to town and back for work for the past 17 years. As a Hotel Sales Manager, she would wake up at 3:00 a.m., and be on the road by 5:30 a.m. to beat the morning rush— regardless, there were times Leslie was still stuck in gridlock traffic.
"I would spend up to 2 hours sitting in traffic in the morning and evening— leaving my house when it was dark outside, and coming home when it was dark." said Leslie Cho.
Looking to spend more time with her family and grow her career, Leslie found and recently obtained the position of Director of Sales for the new Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Oahu-Kapolei —expected to open in the Ka Makana Alii Shopping Center this September 2016. Now she will be working directly out of Kapolei, decreasing her commute from 2 hours to 15 minutes.
Another Leeward commuter who recently found a job closer to home is Waianae Resident Andrew "Umi" Sexton, champion fire-knife dancer and proud father of three, who has spent the past three years commuting across the island from Waianae to Waikiki. Each morning began at 3:30 am (with Umi on the road by 4:00 a.m.) to ensure he would not be late to one of his two jobs in a Waikiki hotel, where he worked diligently as a valet.
This continued until Umi attended a special Hire Leeward Job Fair hosted by Four Seasons Resort O'ahu at Ko Olina. After meeting the staff and making it through an intensive round of interviews, Umi earned a highly coveted position with a competitive benefits package at the new resort, which opened May 27th.
"I was praying about this job and it finally came true. I am so blessed to receive this opportunity through the job fair," Umi said. "It is so great to work closer to home. I can finally spend more time with my family, and I am proud to represent the Westside community in this new hotel in our district."
Thousands of West Oahu residents will have the same opportunity to make a career change at an upcoming job fair taking place this month in Leeward Oahu. For the 4th consecutive year, Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine is proud to partner with the Kapolei Chamber of Commerce to present The 4th Annual Hire Leeward Job and Career Fair taking place on June 25, 2016, (Saturday) at the University of Hawai'i – West O'ahu campus from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
"The Hire Leeward initiative empowers West O'ahu residents to leave their days of driving in traffic behind them by taking advantage of the many job opportunities within their community. Many don't realize that there are over 63,000 Leeward jobs on the Leeward coast; one for just about every adult in my district," said Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine.
With the annual theme of "Connecting Leeward Residents with Leeward Jobs", the Fair will host over 70 businesses offering Leeward-based job opportunities. There were over thousands of attendees at last year's Fair and this year's Fair is expected to have a large turnout as well. There will be free Leeward career education seminars to help residents learn the skills and make the connections they need to find a job close to home.
Businesses and organizations are offering job opportunities from a wide range of industries including: healthcare, financial services, food service, hospitality, retail, and administrative, as well as trade apprenticeships.
Attendees can get priority and complimentary entrance into the Fair by registering online. For more information on the Hire Leeward initiative and the Fair, job seekers are encouraged to visit www.HireLeeward.com.