Congressman Case secures $975K to build Hawaiʻi’s workforce for the digital economy
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022, which was signed into law by the President on March 15, 2022, includes a request to fund increased training for Hawai’i residents in skills necessary for work in the growing digital economy.
Congressman Ed Case (HI-01), who serves as member of the US House Committee on Appropriations made the funding request. He said the COVID-19 pandemic has increased not only the digital economy overall, but also reliance on digital technologies to access employment, healthcare, education and other opportunities.
“This means that we must even more rapidly expand training of our Hawai’i workforce in digital economy skills not only to keep pace but to take full advantage of these opportunities,” he said.
“Our State of Hawai‘i Workforce Development Council, in partnership with the Hawai‘i State Library System, is addressing this need through digital literary training via in-person computer classes and access to online learning resources to help individuals attain computer skills and perform basic activities available online. This $975,000 in targeted federal funding will allow for substantial expansion of these efforts to get more of our residents into this workplace faster,” said Rep. Case.
Stacey A. Aldrich, Hawaiʻi’s State Librarian, said she is grateful for the support. “It is recognition that a more digitally literate population enables Hawaiʻi to be ready for the challenges and opportunities that the future brings to our world.”
She said the funding will support the expansion of a pilot project created by the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and Workforce Development Council.
“The WDC staff partnered with the Hawai‘i State Public Library System and University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges to deliver over 200 free classes and provide over 200 laptops and/or desktops to participants without devices. We are excited to be able to offer learning opportunities to almost 10x what was offered in the pilot. Our residents will have access to free classes in our public libraries and community spaces to build the digital skills they need to be successful,” said Aldrich.
This year the US House incorporated Community Project Funding requests by individual members of Congress for specific projects and purposes in their district into its annual appropriations process. CPF requests may only be directed to governments or non-profits, not for-profit businesses or individuals.
Case made 10 CPF requests, all of which were funded.