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Solutions sought for workforce shortage

By Staff | Jun 25, 2021

Friends who work at restaurants and hotels have been complaining about being overworked and understaffed since Maui’s visitor industry revved up again.

Results of a recent survey by the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii confirm that a workforce shortage is affecting Hawaii businesses. Over 80 percent of Hawaii employers surveyed are struggling to find workers to fill open positions.

Over 70 percent say the openings are putting pressure on existing employees.

And over 60 percent say they have had to make adjustments in overtime and shift schedules.

Local data from April 2021 cites 53,000 unemployed and 27,415 job openings in Hawaii, compared to 14,200 unemployed and 31,786 job openings in March 2020.

The chamber is engaged in collaborative actions with Hawaii’s educators, businesses and community leaders to address workforce solutions in alignment with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s recently launched America Works Agenda.

Solutions include:

Sector Partnerships — Employer collaboratives are actively meeting to build Hawaii’s talent pipeline for in-demand jobs in the engineering and healthcare fields.

Short-Term Training Programs — Multiple short-term training programs are now available through the University of Hawaii Community Colleges’ Hana Careers Pathway program, the American Job Centers and others.

Supply & Demand Alignment — An analysis is underway to identify Hawaii’s current and future IT Workforce needs, ensuring that training and education programs in Hawaii are producing the skills and qualifications employers need in the Information Technology fields.

The Chamber of Commerce also recently launched “Hawaii is Hiring,” which is designed to connect Hawaii residents impacted by COVID-19 with employment and training resources.

For more information on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “America Works Agenda” and how to get involved, visit https://www.uschamber.com/america-works-policy-recommendations-address-the-jobs-gap.