Hawaii2Work Campaign Launched; Hawaii Chamber Survey Shows Businesses Have Trouble Filling Open Positions

Help is on the way for employers struggling to fill positions. The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii teamed up with media partners Hawaii News Now, The Star Advertiser, and Pacific Business News, to launch “Hawaii2Work – Securing Tomorrow’s Workforce today” campaign. 

The campaign has several goals: to connect jobseekers to Hawaii is Hiring where they can utilize online resources to find a job, to recruit new employers to participate in Work-Based Learning programs, and to connect job seekers to training resources at the University of Hawaii community colleges.

Employers can register at ClimbHI Bridge, an online portal that more than 275 local companies are already using to offer work-based learning.

“As we work together to get Hawaii’s economy thriving again, employment is on everyone’s minds,” said Sherry Menor McNamara, President and CEO of Chamber of Commerce Hawaii. “But amidst the challenges, we want everyone to know there are things we all can do. Hawaii is Hiring is a great resource for both job seekers who are looking to re-enter the workforce. We’re also inviting employers to support our youth’s college and career success by participating in work-based learning in our local high schools. By becoming a Work Based Learning partner, companies can help to shape the future workforce of Hawaii and help provide our youth with access to higher education, high-wage jobs, and improved future employment prospects.”

The Chamber is also hosting two webinars:

#1 “Back2School: Legislation and Collaborations that are preparing Hawaii Students for Next-Gen Jobs, ”Aug. 11, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Featured speakers: Senators Michelle Kidani and Donavan Dela Cruz and Representative Takashi Ohno.

There will be a student-moderated panel, followed by Dean Brennon Morioka of the UH College of Engineering, and Stephen Schatz of Hawaii P20 who will be on hand to discuss Sector Partnerships and work-based learning collaborations.

#2 “Hawaii2Work: Addressing Hawaii’s Workforce Shortage” Aug. 17, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Featured speakers: Carl Hinson of Hawaii Pacific Health, Gina Marcoff of Zippy’s Restaurants, Tammi Chun of UH Community Colleges and Leinaala Nakamura with American Job Centers Hawaii. Visit Hawaii2Work at cochawaii.org/hawaii2work

Chamber Survey
Following up on its previous May survey, the Chamber conducted another one in July. Here are a few of the results:

*About 9% are searching to fill more than 11 or more employees with less than 10 companies looking to hire more than 100 employees. 

*75% are struggling to find workers to fill job openings, down from 86% in May. 

*Most (59%) are considering or have considered “raising compensation, benefits, signing bonus, referral bonus, or other incentives to fill positions.” 

*The most common answer to the question “Generally, What do you think are some of the reasons for your challenges in filling job openings?” was “Not enough candidates.” The second most popular answer was “Unemployment benefits.” 

*Just under 50% of businesses who completed the survey said business has improved since restrictions on capacity and masking have been relaxed 

*The majority (56%) of businesses said revenues have not returned to pre-pandemic levels 

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