Chamber of Commerce Hawaii joins national effort to tackle workforce shortage

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Chamber of Commerce Hawaii is taking part in a national effort to address the workforce shortage.

In April of 2021, a total of 53,000 people were reportedly unemployed, more than 24,000 job openings remained open. In March of 2020, Hawaii saw 14,00 unemployed with 31,000 job openings. The organization says workforce shortage is seriously affecting local businesses.

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According to a survey conducted by CCH found:

  • Over 80% of Hawaii employers surveyed are struggling to find workers to fill open positions.
  • Over 70% say the openings are putting pressure on existing employees.
  • Over 60% say they have had to make adjustments in overtime and shift schedule.

Now, CCH has joined a national effort to address the shortage, by calling on elected officials to take immediate action.

Among the efforts are:

  • Sector Partnerships: Employer collaboratives called Sector Partnerships are actively meeting to build Hawaii’s talent pipeline for in-demand jobs in the Engineering and Healthcare fields. These employer collaboratives are co-convened by the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii and the State of Hawaii Workforce Development Council.
  • Short-Term Training Programs: Multiple short-term training programs are now available through the University of Hawaii Community Colleges’ Hana Careers Pathway program, the American Job Centers, and others. The Chamber of Commerce is a collaborative partner. 
  • Work-based Learning: Community-based organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce, serve as work-based learning Intermediaries to bring real-world work exposure to high school students enrolled in Career Academies. This Career & Technical education places students on a career pathway from an early age, increasing their likelihood of attaining an Industry Recognized Certification or degree after high school. 
  • Supply & Demand Alignment: An analysis is underway to identify Hawaii’s current and future IT Workforce needs, ensuring that training and education programs in Hawaii are producing the skills and qualifications employers need in the Information Technology fields.

The Chamber of Commerce also recently launched “Hawaii is Hiring,” which is designed to connect Hawaii Residents impacted by COVID-19 with employment and training resources. 

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