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UHF staff
  • HCC students in a Chemistry lab

Honolulu Community College will work with local employers, such as the Hawaii Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Fund, Johnson Controls, KINIZAMORA and Pacxa, to develop and expand employer advisory boards to more deeply integrate labor market needs and standards into academic programs and create career pathways for students.

A recently announced $387,586 grant from the Strada Education Network will support the college’s collaboration with employers on curriculum development, integrate faculty participation in advisory board activities, and set expectations for involvement of industry leaders. Honolulu CC was one of 11 colleges (from 109 applicants) nationwide that received a grant through Strada’s Employer and Community College Partnership Challenge, which supports innovative collaborations across the country between community colleges and employers in their region.

“We are very grateful to have been chosen for this competitive grant from the Strada Education Network, whose mission and goals are so aligned to our own goals at Honolulu Community College,” said Interim Chancellor Karen Lee. “Being a grantee reinforces our aim to strengthen ties to Hawaiʻi’s employers and industry partners, ensuring our graduates are ready for their careers, whether they immediately enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year college on the way.”

Honolulu CC serves the Pacific Region as a premier career and technical training and education institution. Their programs are built around careers that are in demand, and taught by instructors who have real-world experience, including: construction and trades, creative services, public safety, technology and design, human services, transportation and maintenance, and a highly successful liberal arts program.

Strada partners with community colleges

“At Strada, we believe in investing in innovative solutions that deliver results beyond completion,” Strada Education Network President and CEO Stephen Moret said. “Community colleges have long played a critical role by serving the dynamic needs of both learners and employers in their communities. We are thrilled to have the chance to support college leaders and employers who are coming together to provide timely opportunities for learners.”

Strada Education Network created this grant-making initiative as the first step in a strategy to partner with community colleges to support stronger local economies and communities. This represents Strada’s first major investment in the transformative work of the community college sector and a recognition that community colleges have a unique capacity to address changing regional workforce needs. The initiative aims to improve employment and socioeconomic outcomes after degree or credential completion for students who historically have faced significant barriers to economic mobility.

“Community colleges are engines of opportunity with unique insight into local dynamics and needs,” Strada Impact President Ruth V. Watkins said. “We’re honored to both support and learn from these programs as we work to align measures of success beyond completion with the things that matter most to learners: career mobility and earning potential, meaningful work and the chance to contribute to their communities.”

Honolulu CC also will participate with Strada in a community of practice to learn from other select community college-employer partnerships around the country.

The other colleges that received grants are:

  • Broward College, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Carl Albert State College, Sallisaw, Oklahoma
  • Community College of Rhode Island, Warwick, Rhode Island
  • Green River College, Auburn, Washington
  • Ivy Tech Community College, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • MiraCosta College, North San Diego County, California
  • Pima County Community College, Tucson, Arizona
  • Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Surry Community College, Dobson, North Carolina
  • West Georgia Technical College, La Grange, Georgia

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Questions? / More Information

If you would like to learn how you can support UH students and programs like this, please contact us at 808-956-8700 or send us a message.

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Strada Education Network is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people take advantage of education and training after high school that helps them secure a good job, do meaningful work, contribute to their communities, and lead a fulfilling life. Strada helps students succeed beyond completion of a certificate or degree through its research, charitable grants, and social impact investments, as well as through the work of Strada-supported nonprofit organizations, CAEL, Education at Work, InsideTrack, and Roadtrip Nation, which directly serve learners and workers. Learn more at

The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. The mission of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation is to unite donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawai‘i and our future generations.