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Tag: Workforce Development

Column by the Chancellor in Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce Newsletter: January 2012

Message from UH Hilo Chancellor Donald O. Straney
Chamber Connection Newsletter
Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce

January 2012

UH Hilo hosts Community Vision Summit 

First, I want to wish all of you a Happy New Year! I know we all greet 2012 with optimism, looking forward to a bright and prosperous year—but also keeping our eyes wide open to the challenges of the here and now.

One of our accomplishments in 2011 was the university ‘ohana and surrounding local community working together to develop UH Hilo’s new strategic plan (see www.hilo.hawaii.edu/strategicplan). The long term plan gives us a pathway to the future and guides us as we start 2012, placing strong emphasis on our kuleana, our responsibility, to improving the quality of life for our island’s people and our local community as a whole. One of the ways to honor this commitment is to strengthen partnerships and collaborations, share our understanding, and work together with the community to discover innovative ways to educate our citizens and grow our economy.

In early December, I invited 27 leaders from our community—representatives of education, health, technology, business, local government, and community non-profits—to convene for a Community Vision Summit. The discussions were lively and fruitful, focusing on the strategic directions of UH Hilo in the coming years. The group talked about their shared vision of our island’s future, and how to build two-way relationships to reach our common goals.

Working together, the participants provided helpful guidance about the university’s role in strengthening our community. The importance of UH Hilo’s role in the P-20 education system was emphasized. There was a great sense of people wanting to work together to provide education and life-long learning opportunities matched to workforce development needs. In addition, emphasis was placed on undertaking research and development relevant to the people, environment, and culture of our island and state.

The discussion identified three key areas where UH Hilo could have the biggest impact on improving the quality of life on our island:

  1. Be a Catalyst for Local Economic Development. Participants highlighted the role that UH Hilo should play in building connections with local industries that could let students apply what they are learning to the workplace. Participants recommended that this can be achieved by the university educating and training local students to move into the island’s growing industries in health care, energy, agriculture and information technology.
  2. Bridge Our Island’s Multiple Sectors. A focus of discussion was the role that UH Hilo can play as a champion for dialogue and discussion between multiple sectors. Participants recommended the university develop an economic engine and model that is rooted in the culture, values, traditions and community of the island, one that connects the university, K–12 education, industry, community, and policy. Participants also recommended public-private partnerships that enhance applied learning with feeder programs, where opportunities can enhance student retention. 
  3. Strengthen Community Relationships. While bridging across sectors was identified as important, equally so was the need to strengthen and maintain such relationships over time so that UH Hilo’s continued impact occurs in partnership with the community. Particularly noted was the need for the university to actively strengthen and maintain reciprocal relationships with local businesses, government, and non-profits to empower higher education and workforce development. For example, internships with small businesses to fuel student ambition and problem-solving capacity, build entrepreneurial skills, creativity, and critical thinking.

The meeting was a great success and I appreciate the time and effort made by everyone. I was reminded that the greatest resource we have is the people of our island—when we put our minds to it, we can work together to create a bright future for our island and state. This summit is the first of a series of meetings where I plan to hear from different parts of the community about ways UH Hilo can drive local economic development, bridge our island’s multiple sectors, and strengthen the university’s relationships with the community.

The Hawai‘i island community is a vital partner in the mission of UH Hilo. We appreciate the excellent relationships that have grown strong over the years with groups like the Chamber and people in business across the island. I look forward to working with you in 2012 to create a prosperous future for the people of Hawai‘i.

Happy New Year!

Don Straney

PDF of Community Vision Summit Report 

Column by the Chancellor in Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce Newsletter: November 2011

Message from UH Hilo Chancellor Donald O. Straney
Chamber Connection Newsletter
Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce
November 2011

Strengthening Hawai‘i’s future by partnering with Hawai‘i Community College

Staff stand under the sign at the Hālaulani Project Office, located at Hawai‘i Community College’s Manono campus. The office was jointly developed by UH Hilo andHawCC to administer a cooperative grant program aimed at increasing transfers from the community college to the university. Left to right: Michele Padayao, program specialist, Hālaulani-HawCC; Noe Noe Wong-Wilson, program coordinator, Hālaulani-HawCC; Loke Brandt, peer mentor, UH Hilo anthropology major; Kainoa Ariola, grant partner and interim director at UH Hilo Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center.

I recently read a report by Complete College America stating that by 2020, 68% of jobs in Hawai‘i will require a career certificate or college degree, but currently only 41% of adults have a college degree. The gap: 27%. For a strong economy, the report states, the skills gap must be closed. We simply will not have enough skilled workers to meet the needs of our economy unless many more college and university students graduate.

One way the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is addressing this challenge is by collaborating with Hawai`i Community College (HawCC). Most importantly, we are working together to examine ways to facilitate seamless transfers between the campuses—for example, by giving students roadmaps to use when they begin their college education at HawCC, they will have a plan on how to achieve baccalaureate degrees at UH Hilo.

One collaborative initiative is the Degree Pathways Partnership program, where HawCC students who opt for the program can be accepted to select UH Hilo programs while still attending the community college. The program increases student access toward attaining a higher degree and gives students optimum access to support in achieving their higher education goals, for example advising from both HawCC and UH Hilo faculty to keep students on track.

Two UH Hilo degrees currently offered in the HawCC-UH Hilo pathways program are Administration of Justice and Business Administration. Currently in discussion for the pathway program are HawCC’s Digital Media Arts degree, which would lead into UH Hilo’s BA in Art, and HawCC’s Tropical Forest Ecosystem and Agroforestry Management program leading into UH Hilo agricultural degrees.

In addition to working collaboratively on increasing student transfers and higher degree attainment, UH Hilo and HawCC are also working on professional development programs to increase faculty and staff knowledge and awareness of Hawaiian perspectives. This type of professional development will strengthen our ability to fully support Native Hawaiian students as they complete their higher education with a degree that makes them competitive in the job market. As this column goes to press, UH Hilo and HawCC are launching the jointly sponsored ‘Aha‘aha Leadership Summit to be held in Oct-Nov and designed to boost faculty and staff skills as leaders in higher education within a cultural context.

To address the future needs of our economy, both campuses view our partnership as an important component in being able to successfully provide higher education to the people of the island.

 

Chancellor Straney on PBS Hawai‘i INSIGHTS panel

Joining INSIGHTS host Dan Boylan for the hour-long live broadcast at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, will be UH President M.R.C. Greenwood, UH West O‘ahu Chancellor Gene Awakuni, UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney, and UH Mānoa Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge Dean Maenette Benham.

9/13 update: CLICK HERE to watch the September 8 conversation on Higher Education online now

HONOLULU – Higher education and the role and impact of the University of Hawai‘i System as the state’s only public institution of higher education will be the topic of discussion on “INSIGHTS” on PBS Hawai‘i on Thursday, Sept. 8. Joining host Dan Boylan for the hour-long live broadcast at 7:30 p.m. will be UH President M.R.C. Greenwood, UH West O‘ahu Chancellor Gene Awakuni, UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney, and UH Mānoa Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge Dean Maenette Benham.

The panelists will share the latest developments at the University of Hawai‘i’s 10 campuses statewide. Discussion will also include the role of the UH System in creating and disseminating knowledge, fostering innovation to help grow the local economy and preparing Hawai‘i’s workforce for the next generation of jobs.

The program airs live at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 8 and will be rebroadcast on Friday at 9:30 p.m. An audio rebroadcast will play on Sunday morning at 6 a.m. on both KUMU 94.7 FM and KPOI 97.5 FM. Viewers can join the discussion by calling in during the live broadcast to 973-1000 on O‘ahu or 1-800-238-4847 from the neighbor islands, emailing questions to insights@pbshawaii.org, or follow the discussion on Twitter and send comments to @pbshawaii. For more information visit www.pbshawaii.org.

UH Hilo in the news: NASA and Hawai‘i strike space exploration deal; lunar research park to be located at UH Hilo

Under the agreement, the state is proposing to explore the development of a prototype International Lunar Research Park at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. The partnership will contribute to the development of education programs and foster economic opportunities including new, high-tech jobs.

HONOLULU — NASA and the State of Hawai‘i have agreed to collaborate on a wide range of activities to promote America’s human and robotic exploration of space. The partnership also will contribute to the development of education programs and foster economic opportunities including new, high-tech jobs.

Governor Neil Abercrombie and NASA Associate Deputy Administrator Rebecca Keiser signed a two-year agreement, formally called a non-reimbursable Space Act Agreement Annex, during a ceremony yesterday in the Governor’s Office. The ceremony was held on the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s historic announcement committing the country to land an American on the moon and return him safely before the end of the decade.

“Hawai‘i has been part of America’s space activities from the beginning of the space program when Apollo astronauts trained in the islands for their historic missions to the moon,” Governor Abercrombie said. “This partnership with NASA will broaden educational and employment opportunities for our local families and bring dollars into our economy.”

The agreement establishes a partnership between NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., and Hawai‘i to explore and test new technologies, capabilities and strategies supporting America’s space exploration and development goals.

Under the agreement, the state is proposing to explore the development of a prototype International Lunar Research Park at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. It would use the state’s unique terrain, which is similar to that of the moon and Mars, to enable development and testing of advanced automated and tele-robotic vehicles. Researchers would benefit from Hawai‘i’s natural geography, advanced communications, power generation and other technologies required for space exploration.

“This is the type of participatory exploration involving universities and small- to mid-sized high technology companies that is becoming an increasingly important component of the 21st century space program,” Keiser said. “Americans want to participate directly and personally in space activities. As we have seen from NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services project and the Centennial Challenges prize competitions, harvesting the country’s innovative talent is important to the success of our future endeavors in space. The space frontier is opening in novel and exciting ways.”

The state will provide the prototype test environment and infrastructure for the proposed analog test facilities. NASA will evaluate new concepts and models for conducting space exploration. The state will explore the potential to develop and mature innovative space-related technologies for educational, industry and government use.

“From NASA’s perspective, this partnership can inspire ideas and applications from analog test sites that can be generalized to space exploration and development of the moon and other planetary bodies,” said Ames Director Pete Worden.

The state’s Office of Aerospace Development will be the lead state agency for the project, enhancing dialogue and coordination among the state, private and academic partners to enable growth and diversification of the state’s aerospace economy.

“We support NASA’s goal to promote public-private partnerships and multinational alliances to help reduce the cost, enhance the feasibility and accelerate the implementation of future space missions – leading to settlements beyond low-Earth orbit,” said Jim Crisafulli, director of Hawai‘i’s Office of Aerospace Development. “Locally, this collaboration should catalyze Hawai‘i-based economic innovation and engage engineers, scientists, educators, and students, as well as commercial entrepreneurs, to increase the opportunities and benefits of space exploration.”

For more information about the International Lunar Research Park, visit: https://sites.google.com/site/internationallunarresearchpark

For more information about Ames, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/ames

For more information about Hawai‘i’s aerospace initiatives, visit: http://aerospacehawaii.info

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