HONOLULU (KHON2) — A federal grant is aiming to help develop a work-based apprenticeship program for Maui residents. Senator Brian Schatz, who introduced the legislation, announced that the Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) would be receiving $300,000 in federal funding to go toward a program looking to offer unique on-the-job training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

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The funding comes from the STEM Talent Challenge, a new grant program administered by the Economic Development Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“The program aims to create jobs, spur innovation and strengthen businesses in focus areas that are considered vital to the future of Hawaii’s economy,” says Senator Schatz. Focus areas include renewable energy, artificial intelligence, machine learning and agriculture.

“We need more workers with STEM skills to help us rebuild our economy. This new federal funding will help Maui residents get important hands-on STEM training, while also helping businesses find innovative ways to grow and create new jobs,” added the senator. “There’s more to do, but this new apprenticeship program is a step in the right direction.”