Hawai'i State News

Sustainability partners, participants sought by Kupu ʻĀina Corps

Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

Kupu personnel stroll Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park in Kailua-Kona. Photo Courtesy: Kupu

Kupu, Hawai‘i’s leading conservation and youth education organization, today announced the launch of the 2023-2024 Kupu ʻĀina Corps program with an increased focus on sustainability industries.

Kupu is seeking host sites and participants to work in sustainability-focused sectors like renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and climate adaptation.

Funded in part by the State of Hawaiʻi’s Green Job Youth Corps program, Kupu ʻĀina Corps is a workforce development initiative. Participants gain up to a year of paid work experience in a sustainability-focused profession, while sustainability-focused employers get the chance to train and grow future leaders for their organization.


Kupu ʻĀina Corps is now accepting applications for both full-time and part-time job applicants and for sustainability organizations interested in serving as host sites. Kupu invites participants and host site applications from across the Hawaiian Islands in areas related tosustainability, renewable energy, agriculture, and natural resource management.

“According to participants who completed the program, more than two out of three moved directly from the Kupu ʻĀina Corps into other long-term employment, with most of those jobs being within a sustainability-focused profession,” said Kawika Riley, Vice President for Kupu External Affairs.

Kupu team members at the Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Refuge on The Big Island. Photo Courtesy: Kupu

For participants, KAC Cohort 1 will run from July 17, 2023 to July 13, 2024 and Cohort 2 will run from August 7, 2023 to July 27, 2023. Kupu ʻĀina Corps host sites can include nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses, and State and County government agencies.


Kupu ʻĀina Corps positions are structured as a cost share; therefore, host sites pay only a small fraction of the true cost of adding to their workforce and growing their industry this way.

“I was introduced to an endless well of knowledge, gained a sense of purpose and left with skills in leadership, environmental education, grant writing, fundraising, and outreach,” said Melialani Hamilton, who served as a Kupu ʻĀina Corps participant at the Haleakalā Conservancy for the 2021-22 term.

To date, Kupu ʻĀina Corps has provided employment to 490 participants, generating millions in economic benefits for Hawaiʻi. Graduates of the 2022-23 Kupu ʻĀina Corp program have gone on to jobs like GIS specialist, food systems manager, and conservation positions in support of forestry, trail management, and the protection of native and endangered species.

Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments