Hawai'i State News

Homestead Associations launch statewide jobs program supported by Office of Hawaiian Affairs

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The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a quasi-state agency has awarded the nonprofit Homestead Community Development Corporation $500,000 over two years for its Residential Employment Living Improvement program.

“We are so grateful to OHA [Office of Hawaiian Affairs] for investing in our homestead nonprofit arm that was founded by the Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations back in 2009,” said Iwalani McBrayer, Homestead Community Development Corporation Board Chair. “HCDC [Homestead Community Development Corporation] implements the vision of homestead leaders, and a workforce development program like RELI [Residential Employment Living Improvement] will always be a priority.”

Residential Employment Living Improvement delivers workshop sessions on financial management best practices, home childcare operations, and on understanding the sector of Native Hawaiian organizations serving community. Its core function, however, is to deliver short term employment opportunities to Native Hawaiians unemployed, or underemployed anywhere in the state.

The Homestead Community Development Corporation nonprofit is governed by homestead association leaders from five Mokupuni regions across the state – Kaua‘i, Molokai, Maui/Lanai, O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island. The nonprofit as a designated homestead nonprofit 501c3, delivers projects and programs identified by individual homestead associations, as well as statewide projects that serve all regions.


“RELI was started through a pilot jobs placement program on my home island of Kaua‘i through the manao of homestead association leaders here,” KipuKai Kuali‘i, Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations Chair commented. “It was well run, and this OHA award will enable HCDC to extend the success of RELI to other islands across the state of Hawai‘i.”

Short term experiential job opportunities are created through partnerships between the Homestead Community Development Corporation and small employers that might be nonprofits or businesses in a wide range of industries. Native Hawaiian participants are placed in job functions ranging from office functions, to warehousing, to labor and stewardship functions in the field for up to 120 days or four months.

“It’s been a great summer youth program, but also for adults year-round that are looking for new industries that fit new interests,” said Jordyn Danner, Homestead Community Development Corporation Programs Deputy Director. “We are excited about this partnership with OHA over the next 2 years.”



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