Hawaii Announces Remote Work Pilot Project

The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) and the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) through the Workforce Development Council (WDC) along with the Hawaii’s four county Workforce Development Boards (WDB), announced Remote Ready Hawaii, a Hawaii Remote Work project powered by Instant Teams. A Hawaii based start-up, Instant Teams focuses on improving Hawaii’s unemployed workforce’s employment prospects, especially those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

This program provides Hawaii’s unemployed residents with the opportunity to obtain training for a role as either a remote business development representative or a remote customer service professional; a paid remote internship through Instant Teams, in line with the training received; and job placement assistance after course and internship completion.

Applicants to this program will be contacted by the American Job Centers beginning Tuesday, February 16, 2021 and must meet the following criteria:

  • Ability to commit to a 20-hour per week, paid internship, after completing training.
  • Completion of a written application.
  • Submission of a video interview.

“As Governor Ige stated in his State of the State address, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rise of the digital economy. In the digital economy, it doesn’t matter where your workstation is located. Hawaii’s workers can compete globally from our island home allowing them a higher quality of life” said Mike McCartney, DBEDT director.

“This pilot project along with other projects that make up Hawaii’s Remote Work Pilot Program represents true collaboration between DBEDT, the State of Hawaii WDC, all four county WDBs and American Job Centers to expand remote work opportunities and take these initial steps to increase Hawaii’s competitiveness in the global digital economy.”

“Remote work for local residents is one important way we can keep families together here in Hawaii and stop the export of our talent. Creating remote worker opportunities by connecting our residents to global employment possibilities is one of the keys to opening doors to economic resiliency,” said Leslie Wilkins, chair of the State of Hawaii Workforce Development Council.

“Three-island Maui County has some of the most remote communities and under-served residents in Hawaii with a high concentration of Native Hawaiians.” said Linda Puppolo, executive director for the Maui County Workforce Development Board. “Since the COVID-19 Pandemic, there are few opportunities in these communities. By leveraging Maui County Workforce Development resources for recruitment and support, the Remote Ready Hawaii partnership offers a crucial opportunity for new career paths that will result in economic resilience and recovery.”

Added Instant Teams’ CEO and Ewa Beach resident, Liza Rodewald, “We’ve built a successful model in working with mainland companies to build teams of remote workers from military spouses. We are excited to now expand that model and create job opportunities for the residents here in Hawaii.”

Program participants will be selected based on a completed application, goal alignment, technical readiness, and commitment to the program requirements. The AJC’s will be contacting possible candidates for these remote work positions beginning Tuesday, February 16, 2021.