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UH Receives Millions to Bolster College Workforce Prep

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The University of Hawai‘i (UH) announced a $3 million grant from Strada Education Network, a national nonprofit dedicated to strengthening America’s education to employment pathways, to continue the advancement of career pathways in Hawai‘i. In addition, the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation provided a $300,000 grant to amplify the work across the state.

The goals of the combined philanthropic investments are to sustain the industry-led sector partnerships to advance economic development and develop workforce solutions and to enhance Hawai‘i’s STEM career pipeline.

In 2016, UH received a $4.6 million investment from Strada to launch the Building Hawai‘i’s Innovation Economy & Workforce initiative. The initiative builds on and advances two of UH’s key strategic directions—the Hawai‘i Innovation Initiative and Hawai‘i Graduation Initiative. The overarching goal is to expand the state’s economy beyond tourism and military spending to create high-quality, living-wage career opportunities for residents, while working to ensure our graduates have the skills that employers want and need.

“Our goal is to prepare Hawai‘i’s students and our workforce for the jobs of today and tomorrow in a manner that is highly informed by employers and supported by educational pathways from K-12 to college to career,” said UH President David Lassner. “Strada’s remarkable investments are paving the way for others like the Harold K. L. Castle Foundation to join us and take the positive momentum even further. It is gratifying and energizing to partner with national and local funders who recognize and believe in our groundbreaking work that is increasingly becoming a model for other states.”

“Improving outcomes and opportunity for the students of Hawai‘i has always been a critical part of our mission as we work to strengthen pathways between education and employment for all Americans,” said Bill Hansen, president and CEO of Strada Education Network. “The University of Hawai‘i System has become a leading innovator in higher education, working alongside local and government leaders to improve student success and build the state’s talent pipeline. We’re honored to support this work and to be joined by collaborative partners like the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation to sustain and scale these innovative programs in Hawai‘i.”


Terry George, Harold K.L. Castle Foundation president and CEO added, “For Hawai‘i to truly thrive, K-12 and higher educational opportunities must reflect labor market needs and lead to family sustaining wages. We are pleased to partner alongside Strada Education in helping the University of Hawai‘i enroll far more students in career pathways that prepare them for in-demand jobs and obtain a degree that employers actually value. Working together, we can help Hawai‘i’s youth to fulfil their most ambitious dreams.”



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