Legislatively Speaking

Continuing education beyond high school can help an individual secure local employment and increase their wages. This article highlights two recent initiatives regarding workforce and continued education in West Hawaii.

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Continuing education beyond high school can help an individual secure local employment and increase their wages. This article highlights two recent initiatives regarding workforce and continued education in West Hawaii.

First, was a recent survey by the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce focusing on the demand for employees and supply needed for an educated workforce in West Hawaii. Second, was Hawaii’s Promise, a scholarship to provide free in-state tuition for qualified University of Hawaii Community College students with financial needs.

Recently the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce’s Education and Workforce Development Committee surveyed local businesses and community leaders to learn more about the education and training opportunities on the Kona-Kohala Coast. A total of 43 percent of the respondents indicated specific degrees, licenses, or credentials are required for employment within their company. For more specific information about the survey, take a look at the Chamber’s website.

Hawaii Island leaders continue to seek solutions to decrease high school dropouts, teenage pregnancy, youth suicide and youth drug addiction. Hawaii’s Promise Program can help change the direction of one’s future by shifting their belief of a future with little hope, to a future where one can pursue something better for themselves. The program has received a legislative appropriation of $1.8 million for the fiscal biennium years 2018 and 2019 through HB100 CD1 (State Budget). Hawaii’s Promise is a “last dollar” scholarship that would provide any financial needs not met by other forms of financial aid, such as federal grants and benefits and scholarships from UH, employers and other private sources. The scholarship would cover tuition, fees, books, supplies and transportation. Eligible students will have to qualify for Hawaii resident tuition and be enrolled in a degree or certificate program at a UH community college for at least six credits per semester.

“When armed with knowledge and training, our students will have the skills they need to solve the challenges we face in communities across the state,” said Gov. David Ige.

Eligible students will have to qualify for Hawaii resident tuition and be enrolled in a degree or certificate program at a UH community college for at least six credits per semester. Students will also need to submit the free application for federal student aid to determine their unmet need, and maintain standards of academic progress as defined by the Federal Title IV programs.

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If you are interested in a different future, consider education and contact the Hawaii Community College Information Center at 934-2800. The center can assist with the application process, financial aid, placement testing and academic advising.

Fall registration is fast approaching and is scheduled for Aug. 15-16. Explore more at: http://hawaii.hawaii.edu/palamanui/.