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UH receives $16 million in federal funds to create sustainable job development system

University of Hawaii Manoa Campus
Sophia McCullough

The University of Hawaiʻi is receiving $16 million in federal money to create a sustainable workforce development system.

The UH system is one of 32 applicants selected by the U.S. Department of Commerce for the American Rescue Plan’s “Good Jobs Challenge.”

The money will go into a three-year initiative at UH community colleges. Residents will be trained for jobs in Hawaiʻi's high-demand sectors. UH President David Lassner says while the grant is significant, it provides long-term benefits.

"Every time we help residents find their way into better-paying jobs, we help the state. You know, we have a health care worker shortage. We have a commitment to clean energy – among the strongest in the country. Technology will be one of the keys to economic diversification of the state. And creative industries is one of the most exciting opportunities for economic diversification — these are great paying jobs. So it’s four really important sectors for Hawaiʻi," Lassner told HPR. "And all of these programs will be statewide, spread across the islands."

Lassner says the grant will cover training, outreach services, and job placement. He says the program aims to help 3,000 individuals.

Casey Harlow was an HPR reporter and occasionally filled in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
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