Maui residents who lost everything in wildfires find new path forward with job training programs

Maui residents who lost their homes and livelihoods in the August fires are finding new paths forward with help from the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 6:36 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2023 at 7:31 PM HST
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KAHULUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - It was another action-packed day at the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement’s annual Native Hawaiian Convention on Maui on Thursday.

The day was filled with informative speeches, insightful panel discussions, and important workshops. Plus, hundreds of graduates from CNHA’s Kāko’o Maui Workforce Development Program were honored.

The graduates took the Castle Theater stage at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului Thursday morning.

Special Section: Maui Wildfires Disaster

There was a standing ovation from the crowd as all 319 of them were celebrated.

“We’re super happy to start getting people out there, getting people certified so that people from this community get a say, and get to have a hand in cleaning up their own homes and their own communities,” said CNHA Hawaiian Trades Academy Program Manager Kane Lindsey.

The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement launched its Kāko’o Maui Workforce Development Program on September 15th in direct response to the August wildfires.

CNHA is helping residents earn their workforce certifications in OSHA safety, HAZMAT awareness and Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response.

The goal is so that locals like Warner Duldulao-Kahaialii can actively participate in rebuilding their hometown.

“I wanted to join the program to further my knowledge and to be part of the rebuild,” Duldulao-Kahaialii said. “Not to let it be a part of somebody else’s plans or whatever they want to bring to rebuild, I wanted to be part of it.”

Warner and his ohana lost their home in the August fires.

One hundred days later, emotions are still raw for him as he remembers all the lives that were lost.

He encourages his community to move forward together.

“We must take it in our own hands to rebuild our own,” he said. “We’re not going to forget about them. We’re never gonna forget about them. But we got to look at the now … I’m in this boat too.”

If you want to help Warner and his ohana rebuild, click here.

The final day of the convention on Friday is for members only. However, if you want to become a member, click here, or sign up at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului. It begins at 9 a.m.

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