Free training for high-demand jobs available at UH Community Colleges


University of Hawaiʻi
Lesli Y Yogi, (808) 956-5852
Director of Marketing, Vice President for Community Colleges
Kelli Abe Trifonovitch, (808) 228-8108
Chief Communications Officer, UH Office of Communications
Posted: May 15, 2022

Pharmacy technician trainees at Molokai Drugs.
Pharmacy technician trainees at Molokai Drugs.
Mei Lin Kahihikolo-Purdy, former pharmacy technician student
Mei Lin Kahihikolo-Purdy, former pharmacy technician student
Carpenter pre-apprenticeship training
Carpenter pre-apprenticeship training
Hana Career Pathways provides free training leading to jobs in healthcare, IT and skilled trades.
Hana Career Pathways provides free training leading to jobs in healthcare, IT and skilled trades.

Link to video and sound (details below):

Free short-term training classes leading to industry credentials in the resilient sectors of healthcare, technology and the skilled trades are being offered this summer at University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges through the Hana Career Pathways program. Hundreds of people will be eligible for these trainings, but those interested should apply now through the Hana Career Pathways website

Trainings being offered this summer include certified nurse aide in the healthcare sector, CompTIA industry certifications for IT-related jobs, and carpentry pre-apprenticeship, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and commercial driver license prep in the skilled trades—all leading to employment and apprenticeship pathways.

“While our state continues to revitalize its economy, we must focus on educating our own residents to fill the high-demand jobs in our communities,” said UH President David Lassner. “These fast-track trainings being offered by our UH Community Colleges are an opportunity to build a quality workforce pipeline for our local employers and to help our communities return back to work.” 

Employment and a better future

The Hana Career Pathways program prepares students to apply for registered apprenticeships and related degree programs, and connects students with work-based learning opportunities such as paid internships and guaranteed interviews with local employers.

“I was a stay-at-home mom and thought this program would be perfect for me,” said Sammilyn Pule-Kaahanui, of Molokaʻi, a recent graduate from the pharmacy technician training program at UH Maui College. “I completed the course and I am now a certified pharmacy technician. I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to learn and increase their employment paths and overall better their future.”

$2 million for tuition

More than $2 million in Hana Career Pathways funding from the U.S. Department of Education is available for tuition this year. Eligible applicants receive tuition assistance for courses and other training costs such as books and industry certification exam fees. The program is free for most eligible participants, since many of the trainings provide a 100% tuition subsidy to cover all costs. Wrap-around services are also offered to students including college and career advising, referrals to community partners with supportive services, and other financial assistance.

“This free summer program provides a new opportunity for graduating high school students to be trained for the world of work, and to earn industry certifications that will help them succeed both in the workforce and in their educational pursuits,” said Stephen Schatz, executive director, Hawaiʻi P-20 Partnerships for Education. Graduating high school seniors are encouraged to explore summer trainings and apply online.

Financial support for the Hana Career Pathways was provided by the U.S. Department of Education federal grant #V425G200038, Reimagining Workforce Preparation: Hana Career Pathways, in the amount of $13,370,383.58 for the period of October 1, 2020–September 29, 2023. Grants from the Ascendium Education Group, Hawaiʻi Community Foundation and the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation support the UH Community Colleges’ coordination with industry partners in targeted sectors identified as recession-resilient in Hawaiʻi‘s Talent Roadmap to Recovery, issued by the Hawaiʻi Executive Collaborative.

Video of UH Maui College pharmacy technician class at Molokai Drugs

Video of carpenter pre-apprenticeship training

Hana Career Pathways stills


Mei Lin Kahihikolo-Purdy, former pharmacy technician student (on Moloka‘i) (:21)

“Though it was intense, it was awesome. Even though it gets nerve racking but if you just put the time into it and if you really want to do something, regardless if this was something you dabbled in or if it’s something totally new, I would definitely, definitely recommend it.”


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