DOE, ClimbHI partner to offer students career opportunities

HONOLULU — Under a new partnership between the state Department of Education and Hawai‘i workforce-development nonprofit ClimbHI, students at public high schools across the state are connecting with career opportunities through a state-of-the-art, online portal.

ClimbHI Bridge directly links students and teachers with career, internship and mentorship opportunities at Hawai‘i businesses and nonprofits.

Participating companies and organizations can create free accounts within minutes, and post opportunities for students, as well as answer questions and participate in school activities. Students and teachers can review and apply, and track progress through the portal.

Opportunities include guest-speaking and teaching, judging and coaching, mentorships, advisory boards, job-shadowing, teacher externships, project-based learning, internships, career-fair participation, site visits and job-readiness activities.

“This strategic partnership will enable students to access and acquire the skills needed to advance them toward career readiness and employability, including high-demand, specialized careers unique to Hawai‘i,” said state DOE Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto said.

“It demonstrates what’s possible when dedicated business and industry partners are truly invested in the future talent produced by our public schools.”

Support is provided by the nonprofit Hawai‘i Executive Collaborative, which has committed to funding the program for five years. ClimbHI Bridge was conceived at the 2018 Hawai‘i Executive Conference and originally funded by 17 local businesses and nonprofits.

“We’re pleased to be able to support this innovative platform that will help to give students the opportunity to learn directly from professionals in our community,” said Duane Kurisu, board chairman of the Hawai‘i Executive Collaborative. “Our hope is that by connecting with local businesses, nonprofits and individuals, our youth will discover the potential and their ability to build successful careers in Hawai‘i.”

ClimbHI is working with the DOE to provide virtual training for teachers and administrators, and is also encouraging participation from businesses and nonprofits statewide. ClimbHI Bridge will roll out at all DOE high schools by the end of 2021, reaching thousands of students.

“ClimbHI Bridge connects our schools with workforce opportunities safely and efficiently, inspiring our keiki from all districts to achieve economic self-sufficiency through the exploration of careers and entrepreneurial opportunities,” said Julie Morikawa, ClimbHI president. “Creating awareness around viable career paths in Hawai‘i is of critical importance to helping the next generation thrive right here at home.”

More than 200 Hawai‘i businesses and nonprofit organizations are currently offering over 200 opportunities to participating schools on ClimbHI Bridge.

For more information and to participate, visit climbhi.org/portals or e-mail info@climbhi.org.

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