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Hamakua celebrates launch of rural outreach program at UH Hilo’s North Hawai‘i Education and Research Center

UH Hilo’s North Hawai‘i Education and Research Center in Honoka‘a now offers Hamakua residents access to 38 state agencies.

Hamakua celebrates the launch of new rural outreach services now available at UH Hilo's North Hawai‘i Education and Research Center in Honoka‘a.

HONOKA‘A – Hamakua residents will now receive state outreach services from 38 agencies through a new project located at UH Hilo’s North Hawai‘i Education and Research Center in Honoka‘a. The community gathered on Thursday to celebrate the launch of the new project. The Rural Outreach Services initiative is a partnership between federal, state, county governments, and private non-profit agencies. The wide range of services include, among other issues, job training, health care, housing, and agriculture.

“Rural Outreach Services is an initiative that will turn lives around,” said Rep. Mark Nakashima, a member of the initiative’s coordinating committee, who also sits on the advisory board for NHERC. “Because of the long distances that people need to travel on the Big Island, many residents have not been getting the services they need, whether it is job-related, housing, or even health care.”

The Rural Outreach Services initiative is a public-private partnership of agencies supported by the DLIR Workforce Development Division, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, Hamakua Partners in Eldercare, Hawai‘i County’s Kapulena Lands project, and the Department of Education’s East and West Hawai’i Community School for Adults.

“We are creating an opportunity to better serve the rural communities of North Hawai‘i, which will be a model for other rural areas across the state,” said DLIR Director Dwight Takamine, also a member of the coordinating committee for Rural Outreach Services. “This is a truly community-driven effort to address barriers to services by empowering rural communities.”

Services will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis, with no appointments necessary.

During the month of July, one agency will be available at the center on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Agency availability will increase beginning August. For more information and a schedule of upcoming services, workshops and conferences, contact the North Hawai‘i Education and Research Center at 775-8890. A calendar of events is posted at: http://goo.gl/fS9T3.

The first workshop on entrepreneurial opportunities will take place at the center on July 27, 2011. It is being provided by Hawai‘i County’s Department of Research and Development and the Small Business Development Center West Hawai‘i and will include one-on-one consultations on-site.

The following agencies are participants in the Rural Outreach Services initiative at UH Hilo’s outreach center in Honoka‘a:

  • Arc of Hilo
  • Arc of Kona
  • Catholic Charities
  • Center for Agricultural Success
  • County of Hawai‘i—Aging & Disability Resource Center
  • County of Hawai‘i—Coordinated Services for the Elderly
  • County of Hawai‘i—Office of Housing & Community Development
  • County of Hawai‘i—Human Resources
  • County of Hawai‘i—Research & Development
  • Department of Defense (Hawai‘i), Office of Veterans Services
  • Department of Education, Hilo & Kona Community School for Adults
  • Department of Labor & Industrial Relations—Disability Compensation Division, Hawai‘i District Office, Unemployment Insurance Division, Workforce Development Division, Wage Standards Division, Occupational Safety & Health Division, Veteran Employment & Training Service
  • Department of Human Services, Vocational Rehabilitation Division
  • Hawai‘i Center for Independent Living
  • Hawai‘i Community College, Office of Continuing Education & Training
  • Hawai‘i County Economic Opportunity Council
  • Hawai‘i Island Beacon Community
  • Hawai‘i Disability Rights Center
  • Hawai‘i First Federal Credit Union
  • Hawai‘i Home Ownership Center
  • Hawai‘i Island Adult Care, Inc.
  • Hawai‘i Island Workforce & Economic Development Ohana
  • Hawai‘i Small Business Development Center
  • Hope Services of Hawai’i
  • Five Mountains Hawai’i
  • North Hawai‘i Drug Free Coalition
  • University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, North Hawai’i Education & Research Center
  • Services for Seniors
  • UH Hilo, College of Pharmacy
  • Unites Stated Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Workforce Solutions

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