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Good Jobs Hawaiʻi participants recently completed a Medical Assistant Training Program through a partnership with Hilo Medical Center. Healthcare is one of four key sectors targeted in the Good Jobs Hawai‘i initiative.

Good Jobs Hawai‘i addresses workforce shortage with free short-term trainings

NOTE: This column appears in the August issue of the JCCIH Oshirase newsletter.


Since joining Hawai‘i Community College as Interim Chancellor on July 1, I have been learning about the college’s close connections with the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawai‘i.

Photo of Susan Kazama

I am grateful for JCCIH’s decades-long support for Hawai‘i CC and look forward to continuing the partnership between our organizations.

A shared interest in a strong local workforce is one reason it makes sense for Hawai‘i CC and JCCIH to work closely together.

As we know from anecdotal evidence and data, many businesses here and around the country have struggled to hire workers in recent years. In addition, many local residents struggle to make ends meet with Hawai‘i’s high cost of living.

To help address these problems, Hawai‘i CC and other University of Hawaiʻi Community College (UHCC) campuses launched the Good Jobs Hawai‘i initiative in January, and recently announced a new set of free trainings for Hawai‘i island residents that start this fall.

What is Good Jobs Hawaiʻi? It’s an innovative, $35-million workforce development initiative designed to address the workforce shortage in Hawai’i while providing pathways to living-wage jobs for local residents.

Funded through the American Rescue Plan Act, the initiative targets the healthcare, technology, clean energy/skilled trades, and creative industries. UHCC campuses are working with local employers to identify positions that need to be filled and create a talent pipeline to fill those jobs.

The upcoming trainings address a variety of skills, from medical assisting and phlebotomy to cybersecurity fundamentals and forklift operator training.

How can local businesses, organizations and community leaders get involved in Good Jobs Hawaiʻi? There are several ways:

IN-HOUSE TRAINING: Take advantage of in-house training opportunities to upskill your employees. A recent success story is our collaboration with Hilo Medical Center, which partnered with Good Jobs Hawai‘i to offer a free Medical Assistant Training Program to prepare employees to be Certified Clinical Medical Assistants (CCMAs).“We were so pleased that all eight of our Medical Assistant Training Program participants passed their CCMA exams,“ said Jordan Fickess, assistant director of human resources at HMC. “We’re grateful for the support from Good Jobs Hawai'i to help these individuals start their careers in patient care and provide this critical support to our growing clinics.”

EMPLOYEE UPSKILLING: Notify your employees about the Good Jobs Hawai‘i free training opportunities, so they can take advantage of them and boost their skills. 

JOIN THE COALITION: Business leaders in each sector are invited to join the Good Jobs Hawai'i coalition to help identify positions that need to be filled, increase training opportunities, and prioritize our local workforce in hiring and advancement. Visit the employer section of the Good Jobs Hawai‘i website to take the pledge and find contact information to help you connect with the program.

PLACEMENT: Help place Good Jobs Hawai‘i graduates by providing internship opportunities for potential hires and interviewing graduates. 

Creating a thriving community takes all of us, and Good Jobs Hawaiʻi is one way Hawaiʻi CC is joining with local businesses and organizations to support our shared goals.

To learn more about this program and to participate as a partner organization, please contact EDvance at (808) 934-2700 or email


Susan S. Kazama

Interim Chancellor