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Unemployed or underemployed Hawaiʻi residents have an opportunity to get up to $2,000 in tuition assistance for short-term training at University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges that can lead to industry credentials in healthcare, technology and skilled trades. The Hana Career Pathways initiative supports residents’ employment and the community’s economic recovery.

UH Community Colleges across the state are offering online, in-person and hybrid training to provide college and career advancement opportunities. The Hana Career Pathways training includes opportunities to earn industry-recognized credentials, jumpstart students into related degree programs, and connect students with on-the-job training and in-demand jobs.

nursing student working with patient

Prospective students are urged to visit the program website to learn more and apply online. The training offered ranges from certified nurse assistant, pharmacy technician and medical reimbursement specialist in the healthcare sector; to CompTIA and Amazon web services certifications for IT-related jobs; and EPA 608 certification (for technicians who work on air conditioning systems) and pre-apprenticeship training for the skilled trades. Students will also be offered college and career advising, referrals to support services and other financial assistance.

UH’s Hana Career Pathways will support our unemployed and underemployed residents on every island to upskill and reskill for in-demand jobs that lead to living wage career pathways,” said UH President David Lassner. “We are moving to create educational opportunities that complement traditional degrees and certificates to help generate a thriving post-pandemic future for Hawaiʻi and our people.”

Competitive $13.3 million grant

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In October 2020, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) awarded more than $13 million to UH and its partners to provide students the opportunity to develop new skills in high-demand areas. USDOE said in its release, “The recipients will leverage the expertise and facilities available on college campuses to spur entrepreneurship and foster business development and innovation as America begins to recover from COVID-19-related disruptions to education.” Hawaiʻi was one of only eight states to receive these highly competitive awards.

“During our state’s recovery from the pandemic, this is a critical initiative to remove the financial barriers residents may face to access education and gain the skills and high-value credentials they need to pursue careers that can pay a family sustaining wage,” said Workforce Development Council Executive Director Allicyn Tasaka, a Hana Career Pathways partner.

UH expects to provide about 3,000 training opportunities over three years through this initiative.

Community support

people looking at building tool

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.

Learn more about the CNA profession through this video, produced by Hale Makua in partnership with the County of Maui, Hawaii Video Memories, Maui Economic Development Board, Maui Department of Education and Maui High School and sponsored by the Harold K. L. Castle Foundation.

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