Deadline to apply for Kupu ʻĀina Corps on Maui is June 23
Kupu, a conservation and youth education organization, announced that this is the last week to apply for the 2023-2024 Kupu ʻĀina Corps program on Maui. Kupu is actively seeking host sites and participants to work in sustainability-focused sectors like renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and climate adaptation on Maui.
Funded in part by the State of Hawaiʻi’s Green Job Youth Corps program, Kupu ʻĀina Corps is a workforce development initiative. Participants gain up to a year of paid work experience in a sustainability-focused profession, while sustainability-focused employers get the chance to train and grow future leaders for their organization.
For participants, Kupu ʻĀina Corps Cohort 1 will run from July 17, 2023 to July 13, 2024 and Cohort 2 will run from Aug. 7, 2023 to July 27, 2023.
“I was introduced to an endless well of knowledge, gained a sense of purpose and left with skills in leadership, environmental education, grant writing, fundraising, and outreach. This position allowed me to meet so many good people doing great work for the island, introduced me to great mentors, and challenged my personal and professional growth,” explains Melialani Hamilton, Kupu ʻĀina Corps participant at the Haleakalā Conservancy.
Kupu ʻĀina Corps host sites can include nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses, and State and County government agencies. Group leaders say this is an ideal program for organizations that are trying to grow and are eager to train emerging professionals. Kupu ʻĀina Corps positions are structured as a cost share; therefore, host sites pay only a small fraction of the true cost of adding to their workforce and growing their industry this way.
“According to participants who completed the program, more than two out of three moved directly from the Kupu ʻĀina Corps into other long-term employment, with most of those jobs being within a sustainability-focused profession,” said Kawika Riley, Vice President for Kupu External Affairs. “We are excited to continue the Kupu ʻĀina Corps through this partnership with the Department of Land and Natural Resources. This program will create upward mobility for all participants and host sites, leading to a more resilient future for our state.”
To date, Kupu ʻĀina Corps has provided employment to 490 participants. Graduates of the 2022-23 Kupu ʻĀina Corps program have gone on to jobs like GIS specialist, food systems manager, and conservation positions in support of forestry, trail management, and the protection of native and endangered species.