Maui Business

Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Foundation Supports UHMC Workforce Development

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From left to right: Ryan Nobriga, GM of the Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Villas; Melissa Kunitzer, UHMC Ka Holu support team; Nicolette Van der Lee, UHMC, Ka Holu program director; 3) Candy McComb, Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Villas owner; 4) Vic Henry, Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Foundation board member, Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Villas owner and husband to Candy; Jocelyn Romero Demirbag, UH Foundation Director of Development, Maui Nui; UH Maui College Chancellor Dr. Lui Hokoana; and Angela Nolan, GM Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club). Photo Courtesy of UH Maui College.

The Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Foundation made a third donation to the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College workforce development initiative known as Ka Holu, in the amount of $25,000. The gift will support training, certification testing fees for Career and Technical Education graduates, even expenses when graduates need to travel for certification tests only given off-island. 

“Supporting Maui workforce development is a top priority for both the property owners who contribute to the Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Foundation and all its trustees,” said KORF executive director Melissa Pavlicek. “We’ve seen firsthand how UH Maui College improves the lives of graduates, resulting in increased job skills and higher paying jobs.”

The previous two KORF gifts were used for HVAC training. Appropriately, the check presentation took place in in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources classroom where the students installed AC as part of the course that KORF funded.

“There is nothing more powerful than helping people fulfill their potential,” said Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Villas general manager Ryan Nobriga. “The Ka Holu initiative increases the number of people who are qualified to fill skilled trades positions right here on Maui,” he added. “That makes a huge impact on our economy.”

About the initiative: Ka Holu: Developing a Resilient Workforce


Visionary companies and philanthropists are partnering with UHMC to take the lead in solving Maui Nui’s workforce shortage while providing career pathways in living wage jobs for Maui Nuiʻs youth.


The Ka Holu program offers accelerated career pathways for residents to move from minimum wage jobs to living wage jobs while responding to the in-demand workforce needs of local employers. The program integrates on-the-job and professional skills training with industry-recognized certifications to better prepare trainees for securing and keeping jobs.  

Ka Holu programs are tuition-free and supported by Hawai‘i businesses and philanthropists. Their accelerated hybrid training programs include online courses, hands-on lab workshops and work readiness training for industry certification, internships and job placement, ideally within three months. The program has now become the basis for Hana Career Pathways, a US Department of Education funded statewide grant building on the momentum of statewide industry, workforce development and educational planning toward a thriving, diverse and resilient Hawai‘i. UHMC is partnering with this program to extend the reach of our donors even farther.

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