In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

TMT’s Workforce Pipeline Program prepares Hawaii’s youth for higher paying jobs

More jobs in Hawaii Island's astronomy field

Sponsored by the nonprofit partnership of the Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory

Many people, including Hawaii’s youth, have a difficult time finding jobs that will allow them to live in the islands. The Workforce Pipeline Program developed by the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is helping to fix this by creating a pathway for Hawaii residents and students interested in pursuing tech and observatory-related jobs.

The Workforce Pipeline Program was created after listening to the community and hearing their concerns about future jobs on Mauna Kea. Through the program, TMT works with the State Department of Education, the University of Hawaii system, Hawaii County government, and nonprofit organizations at all education levels (kindergarten through college) to strengthen STEM skills, with an emphasis on students from underserved communities and first-­generation college attendees.

This job training program will benefit the existing astronomy field on Hawaii Island. This pipeline program will provide local observatories with a broader and qualified labor pool and find and train local candidates for career opportunities in Hawaii. It will target those with Native Hawaiian ancestry for all fields relevant to high-­tech enterprises, including science, astronomy, engineering, information technology, and administration.

Waiakea High School was among the first recipients of funding from TMT’s Workforce Pipeline Program, which is investing $1 million per year to work with programs that will prepare island residents for higher paying science, engineering and technical jobs. The high school received an initial $35,000 to develop the Hawaii Robotics education program. TMT also helped fund a Student Spaceflight Experiments Program and other STEM initiatives at Waiakea High School.

The Workforce Pipeline Program follows the trend of innovation and exploration that has been characteristic of Hawaii throughout history. Recent and future endeavors promoting science and technology through education continues the path blazed by the Polynesians who built this state with their dreams of fostering a better place to live, grow and learn.

For more information: MaunakeaAndTMT.org, Facebook.com/TMTHawaii, @TMTHawaii