Hawaii Public Radio | Zoe Dym

A new program led by the University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges will provide free courses to eligible kamaʻāina with anticipate entering high-demand jobs in healthcare, tech, clean energy and more.

Good Jobs Hawaiʻi is a $35 million initiative to provide up to 3,000 residents with the skills they need to fill the gaps of unemployment in some of the state’s more highly desired positions.

“We’re engaging with employers to identify the jobs that they know are in demand, not what we think they’d be in demand,” explained UH president David Lassner.

The program anticipates training and employing 10,000 residents, while receiving an additional $16.4 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration over the next three years.

“This comes at a time when our businesses are experiencing an acute labor shortage, and many of our kamaʻāina continue to struggle to make ends meet,” said Hawaiʻi Chamber of Commerce executive vice president Keala Peters.

“So I would argue that this is our moment, and it has to be.”

According to the Healthcare Association of Hawaiʻi, the state’s need for healthcare professionals has grown 76% — from 2,200 job openings in 2019 to nearly 4,000 openings in 2022. Most of the empty positions are nursing.

Good Jobs Hawaiʻi is available to all Hawaiʻi residents, not just UH students. The courses are designed so participants can be employed within a year of training.

Additionally, previous UH Community Colleges workforce training programs like Oʻahu Back to Work and HANA Career Pathways will now operate under Good Jobs Hawaiʻi.

Listen at https://www.hawaiipublicradio.org/local-news/2023-01-31/uh-community-colleges-provide-free-vocational-training-for-in-demand-jobs

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