Home Live trainings Free Workforce Trainings Expanded to More Hawaii Residents

Free Workforce Trainings Expanded to More Hawaii Residents


September 4, 2022, 4:00 PM HST
* Updated September 4, 2:05 p.m.

Trained as a certified health care aide at Leeward Community College in O’ahu. (Courtesy of the University of Hawaii)

A University of Hawaii community college program that previously limited its services to unemployed and underemployed residents was recently expanded to include those who are employed.

More Hawaii residents are now eligible to apply for free short-term training leading to industry degrees in healthcare, technology and skilled trades through the Hana Career Program Pathways. The program connects students with work-based learning opportunities and guaranteed interviews with employers. It also prepares students to apply for registered apprenticeships and related degree programs.

An arborist certification preparation course is available through the Hana Career Pathways program. (Courtesy of Will Loomis)

“The Hana Career Pathways grant has now expanded our eligibility criteria to include tenured workers in need of upskilling, while continuing to support unemployed and underemployed residents seeking employment opportunities,” said program manager Nicolette van der Lee said in a press release. “Expanding the eligibility criteria allows us to provide training to more Hawaiian residents and support the project’s goals of increasing the number of participants in in-demand college and career tracks.”

More than $2 million in Hana Career Pathways funding from the U.S. Department of Education is available for tuition this year. Eligible candidates receive tuition assistance for courses and other training costs such as books and industry certification exam fees. The program is free for most eligible participants, as many courses offer a 100% subsidy to cover all costs. Complementary services are also offered, including advice on college and professional studies, referrals to community partners offering support services and other financial assistance.

All training is designed to help participants find career paths to living wages. New training opportunities are updated quarterly.


With some of the highest unemployment rates during the COVID-19 pandemic and a high cost of living, the program was intended to support the state’s recovery from the negative effects of the pandemic on the workforce. By expanding eligibility to now include all residents who are also working, the project will support increased earning potential, career advancement, and industry credential completion for all eligible Hawaiian residents.


Learn more and apply online for ongoing training. Contact [email protected] for more information.