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Through intensive labor market analysis and outreach to local businesses, the Promising Credentials project has identified 137 Promising Credentials that are associated with 274 in-demand, living-wage occupations throughout Hawaiʻi.

Hawaiʻi P–20 Partnerships for Education, Chamber of Commerce Hawaiʻi, Harold K.L. Castle Foundation and Kamehameha Schools have joined together on the Promising Credentials project, an initiative aimed at identifying high value certificates and credentials, as determined by industry, using Hawaiʻi labor market data and local employer insights. Promising Credentials in Hawaiʻi, a first-of-its-kind analysis for the state, looks at whether the credentials students can earn actually matter in the real world to local employers.

The project, which kicked off in March 2020, created a final report which includes the list of Promising Credentials, Promising Occupations and recommended actions. One-page Credential Resource Sheets for each of the individual credentials, as well as a searchable excel document of the Promising Credentials and Occupations in Hawaiʻi, are also available that can then be used to inform school design, career and technical education programs of study, and career pathways.

“Aligning education with labor market needs is more important now than ever,” said Stephen Schatz, executive director of Hawaiʻi P–20. “We have to ensure students earn credentials that lead to a career, and that enable them to live and thrive right here at home.”

To gain insight and identify the promising occupations and credentials, 126 businesses participated in surveys and focus groups conducted by SMS Research, working with the national expert Education Strategy Group.

“Having a list of credentials that are most valued by Hawaiʻi employers is just the beginning,” said Keala Peters, vice president of education and workforce development at the Chamber of Commerce Hawaiʻi. “The next phase of work will require a committed partnership between K–12, postsecondary, workforce development and industry leaders to take action that leads to more students earning these valued credentials.”

Jobs for a resilient economy

In tandem with the Promising Credentials initiative, a Talent Roadmap to Support Economic Recovery in Hawaiʻi has been developed which arms leaders with data and insights to hone in on industries, strategies and credentials that will enable Hawaiʻi to fill its jobs with local, highly skilled workers for a more resilient economy.

Launched by the Hawaiʻi Executive Collaborative, Jobs for the Future, Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, Chamber of Commerce Hawaiʻi, Strada Education Network and Hawaiʻi P-20, this talent road map highlights three strategic opportunities that the state should invest and scale in to build a lasting future for all of Hawaiʻi’s residents: expand work-based learning, rapidly re-skill and credential, and grow sector-based strategies.

The Promising Credentials in Hawaiʻi report and other resources are available on the Hawaiʻi Career Pathways website.

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