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NEWS | April 19, 2023

Opportunities for students of Hawaii

By Pfc. Christopher Smith U.S. Army Pacific


FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii - Hawaii educators explored new opportunities for their students to work with the military in the tech industry during a tour of the Pacific Enterprise Defense (PED) center, April 6, 2023.

 

The visit's primary aim was to strengthen ties between the military and the local community by highlighting the benefits of having talented local civilians trained in highly sought-after technology skill sets working alongside service members on Oahu. 

 

The tour showcased the significant potential for young people to jump-start their careers while contributing to the success of military operations.

 

"Hawaii's relationship with the military is crucial," said Jason Chung, Vice President for Military Affairs, for Hawaii’s Chamber of Commerce. "Opportunities for the local community and the military to work together are becoming not only easier but essential."

 

During the tour, educators learned about the various opportunities available to students in the local area to intern at places like the PED center after graduating or during college.

According to Chung, the military provides tremendous opportunities to the state of Hawaii, and tours like this help to showcase them. "They don't necessarily require everyone to wear a uniform; you could actually be a contractor working for a real company," he said.

 

Lt. Col. Jacob Prater, director of the Pacific Enterprise Defense Center, highlighted the importance of incorporating civilians' ideas and methods into military operations. "What we're looking for is the ability to think about problems and data in different ways," he said. "People who aren't afraid to take risks and try different things." He added that the ever-evolving tech industry is in need of individuals who can bring fresh insights on how to complete tasks more efficiently.

 

Prater also noted that military learning is typically very structured, and young men and women with talent in the tech industry could bring different methods of collecting data and solving problems. The tour emphasized the importance of forging stronger ties between the military and the local community and showed how civilians can play a vital role in improving military operations and fostering innovation.