300 temporary jobs available in wake of Maui wildfires to help with cleanup, recovery

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The Hawaiʻi State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations announced the availability of temporary cleanup and recovery jobs on Maui in response to the wildfires. Three hundred jobs for impacted workers are available through the DLIR Workforce Development Division and Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. to assist with debris removal, damage cleanup and the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

The National Dislocated Worker Grant of up to $21 million was awarded to Hawaiʻi through the US Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. It allows the DLIR to provide disaster-relief employment and training activities to minimize the employment and economic impact of disasters. The department received an initial allocation of $10.5 million after approval of its emergency grant application in August.

“This funding will help connect workers and employers to support Maui’s economy,” said Debbie Cabebe, Chief Executive Officer of MEO. “These jobs will speed recovery and help mitigate the suffering of our people right now.”


Individuals who are eligible for the temporary employment opportunities were living on Maui at the onset of the disaster (Aug. 8, 2023) and include those who meet the following conditions:

  1. Individuals laid off, permanently or temporarily, because of the wildfires.
  2. Dislocated workers that were laid off for other reasons.
  3. Long-term unemployed workers.
  4. Self-employed individuals who became unemployed or significantly underemployed as a result of the Maui wildfires.

“This grant provides resources to support recovery efforts as Maui recovers from this tragic event,” said Jade T. Butay, DLIR Director. “The grant will provide temporary employment in response to the wildfires and includes components for individuals to receive support while exploring career opportunities.”

The temporary jobs may last up to one year with extensions, if approved by the US DOL and include worksites in the public, private nonprofit, and private sectors. Target populations include individuals with Limited English Proficiency, immigrants, homeless individuals or those with housing insecurity, migrant populations and long-term unemployed individuals. 


Interested individuals may apply with the DLIR. Staff members from the Workforce Development Division are providing individuals with in-person services at the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center at University Hawaiʻi Maui College and the Lahaina Civic Center. Workforce services are also available at the American Job Center at 110 Alaʻihi Street, Suite 209, in Kahului.

Individuals may also apply through MEO at 99 Mahalani Street in Wailuku, or at 808-243-4300. To complete an initial application, individuals may go to https://www.meoinc.org/ and click on Maui Disaster Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grant.

This program is 100%-funded by multiple grants from the Employment and Training Administration of the US Department of Labor, the sum of which is $21 million.


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