people holding big check
From left, Ryan Nobriga, Melissa Kunitzer, Nicolette van der Lee, Candy McComb, Vic Henry, Jocelyn Romero Demirbag, Lui Hokoana, Angela Nolan (Photo courtesy: UH Maui College)

The Kāʻanapali Ocean Resort Foundation (KORF) has made a $25,000 donation to the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College workforce development initiative known as Ka Holu. This is KORF’s third gift to the college to support career and technical education training, certification testing fees and travel for certification tests only available off-island.

“Supporting Maui workforce development is a top priority for both the property owners who contribute to the Kāʻanapali Ocean Resort Foundation and all its trustees,” said KORF Executive Director Melissa Pavlicek. “We’ve seen firsthand how UH Maui College improves the lives of graduates, resulting in increased job skills and higher paying jobs.”

The previous two KORF gifts were used for HVAC (heating, venting and air conditioning) certification training. In June, the third check presentation took place in the Community Services Building classroom where students installed air conditioning as part of a course that KORF funded.

“There is nothing more powerful than helping people fulfill their potential,” said Kāʻanapali Ocean Resort Villas General Manager Ryan Nobriga. “The Ka Holu initiative increases the number of people who are qualified to fill skilled trades positions right here on Maui. That makes a huge impact on our economy.”

Accelerated career pathways

UH Maui College’s Ka Holu program offers accelerated career pathways for residents to move from minimum wage jobs to living wage jobs while responding to the in-demand workforce needs of local employers. The program integrates on-the-job and professional skills training with industry-recognized certifications to better prepare trainees for securing and keeping jobs.

Ka Holu programs are tuition-free and supported by Hawaiʻi businesses and philanthropists. These accelerated hybrid training programs include online courses, hands-on lab workshops and work readiness training for industry certification, internships and job placement, ideally within three months.

The program will also provide supplemental funding for workforce training coordinated through Hana Career Pathways, funded by a U.S. Department of Education statewide grant, building on the momentum of statewide industry, workforce development and educational planning toward a thriving, diverse and resilient Hawaiʻi.