New program offers former Hawaii residents remote work in the state

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — A new remote work program is aiming to encourage former Hawaii residents and out-of-state individuals to pursue remote employment opportunities in the islands.

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The “Movers and Shakas” program, which was launched through a partnership with the state government, business leaders and various local organizations, incorporates a “give and get” approach, seeking those who are passionate about the values of Hawaii and who have the skills and willingness to contribute to the local community.

The program’s partners say they launched the initiative to help provide some relief to Hawaii’s tourism industry, a main economic driver for the state that has been impacted due to the coronavirus pandemic. The program says it also wants to create ways to increase knowledge resources by connecting local and out-of-state professionals.

Remote workers interested in joining the first cohort of the program are encouraged to fill out an online application by Dec. 15. Program organizers say 50 applicants who meet the qualifications will be chosen. Those applicants will receive a free round-trip ticket to Oahu. Subsequent applicants will be accepted to the program on a rolling basis.

“We wanted to help fill the gap from the decrease we’ve experienced in the 7-day visitors to our state,” said Jason Higa, CEO of FCH Enterprises. “We believe this program will attract many former Hawaii residents and professionals seeking a safe, warm environment to continue living their normal lives while contributing to the Hawaii community.”

The program will first launch on Oahu and eventually expand to neighboring islands at a later date, according to the program’s organizers.

Movers and Shakas is also promising participants access to promotions, special program benefits and opportunities to interact with the local community. Participants will also be asked to contribute their skill sets and knowledge to the community and businesses during their time in Hawaii as well as volunteer with local nonprofits.

The program says that in exchange for volunteer work, Movers and Shakas participants will receive exclusive discounts on month-to-month accommodations, flights, restaurants, attractions and other services they need while living in the state.

“The pandemic provided an unexpected opportunity for me to leave the San Francisco Bay Area and work remotely from Hawaii,” said Richard Matsui, CEO and founder of kWh analytics. “I’m excited by the prospect of Movers & Shakas bringing even more people like me who can help to diversify our local economy.”

For more information about the Movers and Shakas program, visit their website.

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