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Free UH skilled job training program expands eligibility to employed residents

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A free training program at the University of Hawaiʻi system is expanding its eligibility requirements for residents.

The Hana Career Pathways began in 2020 through the UH community college system to help the state recover from the pandemic.

It offers free training courses to unemployed or underemployed residents to get better-paying local jobs in high-demand fields such as IT and health care.

Now, employed residents can also enroll in the training courses.

Program manager Nicolette van der Leer says the change is partly due to additional funding from the U.S. Department of Education.

"As we saw many of our residents, especially in the visitor industry, returning to work, the original goals of the program of helping people get back to work, or pursuing new careers — so if we want to be able to support more participants in the program, we saw the opportunity to be able to train our current workers that might really benefit from having an industry certification that could actually help them advance in their career," she told HPR.

Van der Leer says more than 1,100 people who entered the program have received industry-recognized certifications.

More information about the Hana Career Pathways program can be found online.

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at charlow@hawaiipublicradio.org or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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