Zuckerberg, Chan to fund relaunch of program that finds jobs for Kauai residents

Zuckerberg, Chan to fund relaunch of program that finds jobs for Kauai residents
County Building, Kauai. (Source: HNN File)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A program aimed at getting residents back to work on Kaua’i is starting up once again.

In 2020, Kaua’i’s Rise to Work program found jobs for 280 workers who previously lost their jobs because of the pandemic.

It was founded with CARES Act funding, but the money expired in December.

County officials say the re-start of the program in 2021 is made possible by support from Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg through the Chan Zuckerberg Kaua’i Community Fund of the Hawai’i Community Foundation (HCF).

“During a meeting with the Chan Zuckerberg team, I shared about how this program has made a huge impact in our community and that one day we wanted to revive and expand the program and bring jobs back to our people. Through Priscilla’s and Mark’s generous donation of $4.2 million to the Hawai’i Community Foundation, the Rise to Work program lives again – offering purpose and hope to people who are struggling,” Kaua’i Mayor Derek Kawakami said.

This funding will help support up to 400 workers and up to 200 employers, the county says.

Participants in the program receive weekly pay, free health insurance benefits and the opportunity to learn new skills while establishing professional connections. The program also benefits non-profit organizations and local businesses by expanding capacity without increasing payroll costs.

“Our family cares deeply about Kaua’i, and we are pleased to support this valuable program that has far-reaching positive effects in a community we love,” said Chan. “Our gratitude goes out to the County of Kaua’i, KGEFCU, ProService, and HCF for quickly collaborating to strengthen and support residents, businesses, and organizations during this time.”

For details on the program or to sign up, click here. Applications will be accepted starting March 8.

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