Kama`aina Come Home

Kama`aina, Hawaiian for “child of the land.” For years, Maui has watched as many of its children leave the island for the mainland to get an education, and, not finding enough opportunity at home, they stay on the mainland.

Hawaii students graduating from mainland colleges can look forward to a new Maui connection to find available jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) back home.

Appropriately dubbed “Kama`aina Come Home,” over a decade ago as a grassroots collaboration of the Economic Development Boards, this program has become a successful pathway home for many expatriates. A partnership effort between Maui Economic Development Board and Kama`aina Careers, a Hawaii job referral company based on the West Coast, has taken the program on the road.

In April 2006 with a debut in Denver, Colorado the program also appears at job fairs and college events. Los Angeles and San Diego event are scheduled this summer where employer representatives will be presenting STEM opportunities and resources to students and “local-born” professionals interested in returning to Hawaii to fulfill their career objectives.

Besides helping to bring talent home, the partnership is also working to build a qualified workforce pool for the State’s high tech companies looking to hire highly educated and motivated Hawaii candidates.

The Kama`aina Come Home program has similar goals to a similarly named computer-based tracking system introduced earlier this month by the state. However, this Maui initiative targets college students and former residents already on mainland, making established networking resources and job opportunities available just by signing up.

If you know kama`aina interested in pursuing tech careers back home, encourage them to register as well as submit their resumes online at www.kamaaina-careers.com. There is no charge for this service.

For more information on the Ka‘amaina Come Home program, contact Mapu Quitazol, Project Manager at 808.875.2643 or email mapu@medb.org.

Kama`aina Careers was founded in 1998 by Hilo native Jon Sakurai-Horita. He has over 20 years experience assisting employers with their employment needs, as well as directing the Career Centers at Santa Clara University and the University of San Francisco.

This Kama`aina Come Home program is funded in part by the County of Maui.

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