Under a new grant from the Victoria S. and Bradley L. Geist Foundation to nonprofit youth services organization Kupu Hawaii, Hale Kipa will greatly expand its current Building Your Future job-skills program to enhance connections between youth and employers, as well as job placement, employer training, and job-skills curriculum. Kupu is partnering under the grant with Hale Kipa to provide these services.
The new program is slated to launch in spring 2016 and will be called First Jobs Academy, modeled after an existing program offered to youth on the East Coast. It will open up job-skills training to youth in select Hale Kipa programs and focus on creating long-term job and career opportunities.
Building Your Future, which has served more than 30 youth since starting in fall 2014, was designed to prepare youth enrolled in the Imua Kākou program for their first jobs. Imua Kākou is a statewide program that extends support services to young adults who age out of the Foster Care program, and is offered on Oahu through Hale Kipa.
“First Jobs Academy builds on our success in job-skills training through Imua Kākou, helping to prepare our youth for greater success in the workforce,” said Michelle Kinimaka, program coordinator for Hale Kipa. “We are thankful for this grant support from the Geist Foundation, which will allow us to offer a wider range of services for our at-risk youth.”
In addition, the grant will provide for the hiring of an additional employee through Kupu Hawaii who will assist with facilitating youth-employer relationships and employer training, and allow Hale Kipa to double youth job-skills training to twice-weekly sessions for two months.
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