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(Photo credit: Will Loomis)

More Hawaiʻi residents are now eligible to apply for free short-term trainings leading to industry credentials in the resilient sectors of healthcare, technology and the skilled trades through the Hana Career Pathways program. The University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges’ program that has been serving unemployed and underemployed residents was recently expanded to include those who are currently employed.

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

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.

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Seats are available in Certified Nurse Aide, Patient Care Services and Pharmacy Technician courses in the healthcare sector.

In IT, the Security+, AWS Cloud Foundation and AWS Solutions Architect courses prepare students for industry certifications, including free industry exam vouchers.

Trainings offered in the skilled trades sector include Carpenter Pre-Apprenticeship, Maintenance Electrician and a new Arborist Certification Prep course.

All trainings are designed to help participants find living wage career pathways. New training opportunities are updated quarterly.

Learn more and apply online for current trainings. Contact for more information.

Expanded eligibility

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“The Hana Career Pathways grant has now expanded our eligibility criteria to include incumbent workers in need of upskilling, as well as continuing to support unemployed and underemployed residents seeking job opportunities,” said Program Manager Nicolette van der Lee. “Expanding the eligibility criteria enables us to provide training to more Hawaiʻi residents and support the project objectives to increase the number of participants in in-demand college and career pathways.”

Previously the project had limited participants to unemployed or underemployed residents to focus on providing workforce training for furloughed and unemployed residents. With some of the highest unemployment rates during the pandemic and high cost of living, the project sought to support the state’s recovery from the negative workforce impacts of COVID-19. By newly expanding the eligibility criteria to include all working residents as well, the project will support increasing earning potential, career advancement and attainment of industry credentials for all eligible Hawaiʻi residents.

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.

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