LAIE, Hawaii--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC), today announced it will launch a Million Visitor Per Year Initiative, as part of a transformative strategy crafted by the management team which is led by P. Alfred Grace, president and CEO. The initiative will enable the PCC to advance its mission which includes preserving and portraying the cultures of Polynesia and providing jobs for international students from the Asia Pacific region who attend Brigham Young University (BYU) – Hawaii.
The Polynesian Cultural Center is one of the largest employers on the North Shore of Oahu with 1,200 employees including 750 students and 200 community members working part-time. The Polynesian Cultural Center is a non-profit organization that has been affiliated with BYU-Hawaii since its inception 54 years ago and provides education and employment opportunities for students through the I-WORK program.
“Many of our student employees come from the pacific islands and countries where they have limited opportunities for employment experience and education. Some students working part time at a minimum wage job will still be the most significant wage earner in their family,” said Grace.
The I-WORK program, which stands for International Work Opportunity Returnability Kuleana, supplements up to 100% of the individual costs for students’ attendance and is funded by donations, family contributions and work opportunities at the PCC. Part of the program is a commitment from the student to return home with the goal that they are better able to contribute to their family, their community and their local economy, creating a positive ripple effect that can have a significant impact. Grace stated, “By launching this million visitor initiative, we will make the turnstiles turn and that will enable us to hire and positively impact the lives of more students. We are all about providing more opportunities for more students. That is the heart of our mission and purpose. That is our reason for being.”
“Our student employees gain experience that will contribute to any employment they seek in the future,” said Eric Workman, executive vice president for the Polynesian Cultural Center. “When they leave us, the combination of an excellent education and engagement with visitors from all over the world, along with leadership opportunities that come as a result of working at the PCC, prepares them to be better global citizens and positions them to make significant contributions to their native culture when they return home.”
Through new marketing efforts in China and Japan, coupled with greater promotional efforts to attract visitors from the Northeast, East Coast, and the Southern United States, the new initiative will allow the Polynesian Cultural Center to create more jobs and expand the positive influence of the ancient cultures and customs of Polynesia to a growing number of visitors from around the world.
“Our mission is dear to us and this initiative could not come at a more relevant time,” Grace continued. “There is a growing body of research that documents millennials’ interest in changing the world and looking for authentic purpose-driven work and experiences. Everything we do at the PCC matches up with their priorities. We know the time is right to increase visitors to the PCC by showing the world the beautiful, ancient cultures of Polynesia and providing new opportunities for its progeny.”
The management team of the PCC is staffed with former students and performers whose insights stem from their collective decades of involvement with the organization. With growth initiatives that are in place, the PCC has already driven a record rise in visitors through 2016 when guest traffic increased by 30 percent.
Growth initiatives have included the opening of The Hukilau Marketplace, which is a collection of nine dining venues, including the flagship restaurant, Pounders, and twelve shopping venues which has contributed to the recent uptick in guest traffic. The marketplace celebrated its 2nd anniversary on March 11th.
To date, more than 39 million people have been to the Polynesian Cultural Center and over 20,000 BYU-Hawaii students in total have been employed over its 54-year history.
About the Polynesian Cultural Center
Located on Oahu’s beautiful North Shore, the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC), owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the only cultural tourist attraction of its kind in the world and a favorite of visitors to Hawaii. An engaging, interactive celebration showcasing the people, culture, arts and crafts of Polynesia, the PCC has entertained more than 39 million visitors from around the world in its first 50 years (1963-2013). A non-profit organization, 100 percent of PCC’s revenue goes to daily operations and to support the education of its student-employees from neighboring Brigham Young University-Hawaii.