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Fellows Spotlight
Fellows Connect on Workforce Development Efforts
October 5, 2022
Nursing school students train on using a stethoscope.

Photo courtesy Alex Harris

Contributed by: Alex Harris, Cohort III

Making it in Hawaiʻi is hard. Just look at the Hawaiʻi Jobs Explorer to see how few jobs pay wages sufficient to our cost of living.

Emerging from the past two years however, we have learned so much—which industries are strong, growing, and lead to upward mobility. Inspired by a Talent Roadmap and infused with major investments, new career pathways are growing into healthcare, technology, and the skilled trades. Several Omidyar Fellows are connected in these system-building efforts:

  • Hana Career Pathways (Alex Harris, Karen LeeTammi Oyadomari-Chun)
    This is a competitive $15 million federal grant helping displaced workers and low-skill residents upskill through short-term credentials with real value in the labor market and then pursue a degree if they choose.
  • Hawaiʻi Career Pathways (Alex Harris, Tammi Oyadomari-Chun, Stephen Schatz)
    This project helps students to explore and plan their path through education and into the workplace through better navigational support, more opportunities to experience the world of work, and aligned academic programs that lead to a degree or certificate with real value in our labor market.
  • Hawaiʻi Workforce Funders Collaborative (Alex Harris, Marisa Hayase)
    This is a partnership among nine philanthropic organizations to strengthen public/private partnerships and systems that help local residents into high-quality good jobs.
  • Resilient Hawaiʻi: Good Jobs Challenge (Alex Harris, Tammi Oyadomari-Chun)
    This is a competitive $16.4 million federal grant that will train thousands of workers in clean energy, creative industries, healthcare, and technology jobs.
  • Talent Roadmap (Alex Harris, Dawn Lippert, Tammi Oyadomari-Chun, Stephen Schatz)
    This project helped set direction by identifying recession-resistant industry sectors and determining how more young people can access these jobs.

If successful, more employers will find the talent that they desperately need right here at home. More young people will have hope that they can live, work, and play in the place of their birth. This is a vision worthy of our collective action!