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HCF awards $1.5 million to career program

HONOLULU — The Hawaii Community Foundation’s Career Connected Learning grants aim to prepare Hawaii’s students for the workforce of the future.

Because the fastest growing industries of tomorrow require training in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), these $1.5 million in grants support programming with strong STEM components.

Career Connected Learning grants also provide funding for industry-based design challenges and internships, as well as training for teachers and parents to help students through complex decisions as they transition into working adulthood.

“The need for STEM-literacy in Hawaii continues to grow at a rapid pace. Today’s students will be tomorrow’s leaders at the intersection of exciting fields like renewable energy, healthcare, marine science, and agriculture,” said Micah Kane, CEO and president of HCF. “Through Career Connected Learning, HCF hopes to ensure that our keiki will thrive in that dynamic economy.”

Career Connected Learning grants have been distributed to 43 schools and nonprofits on Hawaii Island and Kauai to expand the range of experiences for students to develop academic, technical, trade, and entrepreneurial skills.

The Foundation launched the Hawaii Island-based STEM learning program in 2014 when Thirty Meter Telescope created the THINK Fund at HCF and committed resources.

Since that time, additional funding partners have contributed to the effort and provided more than 12,000 students and 900 educators on Hawaii Island with STEM-related programming.

Most recently, Strada Education Network contributed funds that have expanded the Career Connected Learning grant program to reach students on Kauai and strengthen the alignment between various STEM learning programs that are currently available with the specific needs of Hawaii’s evolving workforce.

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HCF grant recipients

Grant recipients and program

• Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii; Kaua‘i Career Connected Learning

• Hanalei School; Growing STEM Leaders

• Akamai Workforce Initiative; Akami Internship Program

• Girl Scouts of Hawaii; STEM Tests and The Girl Scout Leadership Experience

• Island School; Mac Hardware Replacement and Software Update for Student Lab

• Kapaa High School; Mobile Broadcast Studios

• Kauai District Office, Hawaii Department of Education; Kauai Science and Engineering Fair Program

• Kauai High School: Incubating an innovator Mindset in high school via AR/VR (augmented reality/virtual reality.

• Kauai Planning and Action Alliance; Taking Career Connections to Scale: Building Islandwide Employer Partnerships

• Kauai Robotics Alliance; Kauai Bots 2018

• Malama Kauai; Prioritizing NTBG Internship for Women to Help Launch Successful STEM Careers.

• University Hawaii Foundation; Families Exploring Science Together

• Waimea High School; Waimea High School 2.0

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