The Conversation: New Program For Workers Needing Jobs

Apr 10, 2020

On today's Aloha Friday edition: the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relation's new program matching workers needing a job with industries looking for workers, revisiting the 1900 Chinatown Fire with local fire protection consultant, COVID-19's effect on gun sales in the islands, and Ram Dass's Love Serve Remember Foundation's Raghu Markus talks about mindfulness in during the current coronavirus crisis.

Credit Wilfredo Lee/AP

If you've lost your job, or been furloughed, the State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations says there is a need for workers in healthcare, security services, delivery, and food supply and prep areas. Director Scott Murakami talks about a new program matching workers who need jobs with industries that need workers. It's called RUDDER - Reducing Unemployment Disruption and Driving Economic Regeneration. The State has $100,000 immediately available to offer companies $500 per new worker re-trained and hired since March 1st.

Credit Twitter/@HelenZiaReal

With the COVID-19 pandemic originating in China, and President Trump and others calling it the "Chinese Virus," the FBI in March warned the country about an increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans. A national registry of anti-Asian hate crimes was started three weeks ago, and now has over 1,400 entries. At least one of them is from here, in Haleiwa. Activist, journalist, and author Helen Zia sayes this isn't the first time an anti-Asian wave has swept the country.

Credit Hawaii State Archives

The COVID-19 pandemic isn't the first wave of deadly infection to hit O'ahu. In 1900, a ship landed in Honolulu Harbor, with a crewman dead from the Bubonic Plague. It was immediately quarantined, but no one considered the rats on board would scurry down the mooring lines. The whole Chinatown area was eventually put into quarantine, and later a fire set to stem the spread, resulting in the Great Chinatown Fire of 1900. Sam Dannaway, the owner of a local fire protection company for 30 years before it was bought by Coffman Engineering, shared his thoughts on the blaze.

Credit iStock

People respond to fear and uncertainty in different ways. At the end of March, Amnesty International noted an increase in gun sales across the U.S. Several Hawaii gun shops confirm local sales are up as well. Mark Redeker, owner of Maui Ammo and Gun Supply in Wailuku, says his store is pretty much sold out.

Credit Love Serve Remember Foundation

What is mindfulness and how do you do it? Raghu Markus is Executive Director of Ram Dass' Love Serve Remember Foundation. Asked what kind of advice Ram Dass would have for all of us now, Markus says the first esential truth Dass would offer is: don't run away!

With schools closed and kids at home, why not carve out time to pay attention to them and enjoy something together? Louise King Lanzilotti is the host of Classical Pacific, weekdays from 3pm-6pm on HPR-2, and the founder of Kalikolehua, an El Systema style music program on Oahu with the goal of getting music to the underserved. She shares ideas for family listening in the classical realm.  

Credit Sig Zane Designs

Last week, Sig Zane Designs started an Aloha Friday pau hana hang out at their store in Hilo that streams on Instagram. Local fashion and lifestyle designer Sig Zane shared with how how things are feeling in East Hawaii amids the current coronavirus pandemic.