Archive for the ‘Green jobs’ Category

Kupu Hawaii

October 13th, 2015


This quote is in the lobby of Kupu Hawaii's office in Kakaako.

This quote is in the lobby of Kupu Hawaii's office in Kakaako.

In the midst of all this redevelopment in Kakaako, it's good to see the rise of a non-profit focused on cultivating today's youth as tomorrow's leaders of sustainability, rather than another high-rise.

Empowering youth, Hawaii’s future, to serve their communities, is at the heart of Kupu Hawaii’s mission, The non-profit, founded in 2007, is named after the native kupukupu fern which means 'to sprout, grow, or germinate." it is the first plant to grow back after a lava flow.

Through Kupu’s many programs, young adolescents gain the skills they need to work in the emerging green jobs sector, whether it's in the field of conservation, natural resource management or renewable energy. To date, Kupu has worked with more than 2,600 youth and provided more than 230,000 volunteer service hours in partnership with 80 public and private organizations.

Kupu Hawaii's CEO, John Leong, said it's about empowering youth and giving them the tools they  need to make an impact on this world. Just as importantly, he said, it's about nurturing tomorrow's leaders with the right heart — a passion for sustainability as well as a desire to give back to the community.

“If we don’t prepare our next generation of kids to get involved, they’re going to be left behind,” said Leong. “We want to give our youth the capacity to move forward."

>> Kupu’s Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps gives students the opportunity to work outdoors with environmental agencies across Hawaii during the summer and year-round. In April of this year, nearly 30 interns spent a week helping to plant 20,000 koa seedlings at a natural reserve on the slopes of Haleakala for Arbor Day.

>> Kupu's RISE program offers college students paid internships with various private and public agencies focused on food waste reduction, renewable energy and sustainable schools. The internships can provide valuable experience and mentorship leading to jobs when they graduate.

>> With E2U, an environmental education program, participants work with public schools to launch a project focused on sustainability, take a field trip to a conservation site or start an after-school Eco Club.

>> CommunityU helps youth at risk, ages 16 to 24, with life skills and green jobs training that will allow them to get a high school diploma after completion of the program. These youth get involved in projects that restore fishponds, a lo‘i, plant native species or carve traditional Hawaiian poi boards.

Last November, the late navigator Mau Piailug's son, Eseluqupi Plasito, mentored students in a transformational project — the carving of a traditional, single-hulled canoe out of a large, invasive albizia tree at Kewalo Basin, with help from more than 700 volunteers.

Check out this Olelo video which celebrates the launch of the canoe earlier this year.

Kupu has raised about half the $5 million needed as part of its Ho‘ahu Capital Campaign for its Green Job Training Center.

The goal is to transform the "net shed," a rundown building originally used by aku fishermen to hang and repair nets near Point Panic at Kewalo, into a LEED-certified Green Job Training Center. Kupu envisions it as a gathering space with classrooms, conference rooms and hydroponic garden, along with a commercial kitchen and food truck that will feature locally sourced produce. Kupu hopes to settle lease terms with the state Hawaii Community Development Authority and begin construction on the center in March 2016.

As Kakaako undergoes a dramatic change in its skyline and population, it would  be great to see a place that nurtures the next generation of stewards for our islands.

Rendering of the Green Job Training Center that Kupu Hawaii envisions at Kewalo Basin. Courtesy Group 70 International.

Rendering of the Green Job Training Center that Kupu Hawaii envisions at Kewalo Basin. Courtesy Group 70 International.

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Clean energy jobs

March 12th, 2014

Star-Advertiser file photo.

Workers install a solar photovoltaic panel on to a rooftop. Star-Advertiser file photo.

Let's hear it for clean energy jobs.

Hawaii ranked no. 3 among the top 10 states for clean energy job postings last year, and was also among the top 10 in the fourth quarter of last year, according to a report by nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).

California ranked No. 1, followed by Texas at No. 2.

But there's certainly room for improvement.

The E2 report cites a survey revealing overwhelming public support for solar energy as well as opposition to a hookup fee in Hawaii. HECO, meanwhile, seeks approval for six more renewable energy projects in the state.

Click here for the Brookings fact sheet detailing clean job growth and wages in Hawaii. Brookings ranked Hawaii 45th among 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of its overall size (with 11,113 clean jobs). The estimated median wage in Hawaii's clean economy is $42,235 compared to $38,615 for all jobs in Hawaii.

Among the statewide facts the E2 report listed for Hawaii:

>> Hawaii has 916 megawatt hours of renewable generation, with the potential for 2.9 million Gigawatt hours (equal to 1 billion watt hours)of renewable energy.

>> A sampling of Hawaii job announcements include positions for a solar facility on Kauai, a retrofit of state airports, a wind farm on Oahu and a solar farm at Kalealoa.

There was no mention of Oahu's rail transit project.

Nationwide, Environmental Entrepreneurs tracked more than 78, 600 clean energy and clean transportation job announcements in 2013. Solar power generation was the year's top sector, with more than 21,600 jobs announced. Other strong sectors included building efficiency and public transportation.

"Our report makes it clear," said E2 executive director Judith Albert. "When we invest in clean energy and clean transportation, we put people to work in every corner of the country. Whether it's a new wind farm in Iowa, an energy efficiency retrofit in Massachusetts, or a utility-scale solar array in Nevada, these projects require American ingenuity and labor. The sector is helping stimulate our economy."

See the full report at

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Green job bank

May 28th, 2013

Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance has launched

Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance has launched

Looking for a green job? Your quest is just one click away.

The Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance Job Bank offers listings for conservation-based jobs, internships and volunteer positions at The job bank was created by HCA's Next Generation Program to help build the next generation of Hawaii's conservation leaders.

Some available positions as of now include associate attorney for Earthjustice, education and outreach assistant for the Lyon Arboretum at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, development officer for the Monk Seal Foundation, conservation program coordinator for Sierra Club Hawaii and lab technician at the Hawaii Cooperative Studies Unit at its Kilauea Field Station on the Big Island.

Conservation organizations are welcome to post available jobs, internship and volunteer positions at the job bank for free. Each submission will be reviewed by HCA staff and appear on the webpage after approval. It's free for job seekers as well, to visit  and peruse

The Hawaii Conservation Alliance is a cooperative collaboration of conservation leaders representing more than 20 government, education and non-profit organizations. If you have questions about the job bank, email

The 21st Annual Conservation Conference, by the way, is from July 16 to 18 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Registration is now open, with a special $50 rate for students. The theme this year is "Living Today, Sustaining Tomorrow: Connecting People, Places and Planet."

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Blue Planet study: Solar tax incentives benefit Hawaii

January 16th, 2013

One residential PV system in Hawaii (sized at 5.27KW) yields 3.2 new local jobs, $106,000 in local labor income and more than $20,000 in additional tax revenues, according to the Blue Planet Foundation's full analysis of solar tax credits and their impact on the local economy. Photo courtesy Blue Planet Foundation.

One residential PV system in Hawaii (sized at 5.27KW) yields 3.2 new local jobs, $106,000 in local labor income and more than $20,000 in additional tax revenues, according to the Blue Planet Foundation's full analysis of solar tax credits and their impact on the local economy. Photo courtesy Blue Planet Foundation.

The Blue Planet Foundation yesterday released a full report detailing the economic impacts of Hawaii's renewable energy tax credit showing that the existing incentive yields a "clear, significant net fiscal benefit to the state."

The analysis, which Blue Planet commissioned from former University of Hawaii economist Thomas Loudat, found that every commercial photovoltaic (PV) tax credit dollar invested yields $7.15 that stays in Hawaii and $55.03 in additional sales, which generates $2.67 in new tax revenue.

Every residential solar PV tax credit dollar yields $1.97 in additional tax revenues, with $5.71 that stays in Hawaii and $34.69 in additional local sales. For a typical 118-KW commercial PV installation, the state gains about 2.7 local jobs each year over the 30-year lifetimes of the system.


"Solar energy is currently a bright spot in Hawaii's progress toward energy independence," said Blue Planet director Jeff Mikulina. "Our analysis shows that solar is also a bright spot in Hawaii's economy and our state budget."

Besides reducing our dependence on oil, Mikulina said the solar industry in Hawaii is creating thousands of local jobs and funneling hundreds of millions of tax dollars into the state budget.

Solar accounts for 15 percent of all construction expenditures in Hawaii, according to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). Solar installations also bring federal dollars into the local economy in the form of a 30-percent federal renewable energy tax credit, says Blue Planet, with a multiplier effect equivalent to tourist dollars coming to Hawaii.

Plus, solar is gaining good momentum. Blue Planet's analysis shows the use of solar increasing more rapidly in less wealthy neighborhoods.

Read the full study with supporting data at

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Dialogue, music, action

March 16th, 2012

Van Jones, founder of Rebuild The Dream and author of "The Green Collar Economy," will be on hand for a pop-up dinner conversation at the Capitol Rotunda on March 20. Photo from Van Jones Facebook.

Van Jones, founder of Rebuild The Dream and author of "The Green Collar Economy," will be on hand for a pop-up dinner conversation at the Capitol Rotunda on March 20. Photo from Van Jones Facebook.

In a first of its kind event, Kanu Hawaii is co-sponsoring what it calls a "pop-up dinner" conversation with nationally renowned speaker and activist Van Jones at the Capitol Rotunda on March 20.

It's part of a movement that Kanu is calling "Dream Revival Hawaii." You can also expect to hear some live poetry from Kealoha and music by Jive Nene and Kupa‘aina.

Dubbed one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2009 by TIME magazine, Van Jones is recognized as a pioneer in human rights and the clean energy economy.

A Yale Law School graduate, Jones is president and co-founder of Rebuild The Dream, described as "a pioneering initiative to restore good jobs and economic opportunity." He is also the author of "The Green Collar Economy" and co-founder of three nonprofits: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change and Green for All.

Kanu and the Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE) invite folks to bring tables, chairs, food and their ideas to the Capitol for a discussion with Van about creating a "sustainable, equitable economy." Van Jones is expected to present a platform for  bottom-up, people-powered economic solutions to promote sustainable agriculture, state banks and affordable education.

Dream Revivals are being held across the U.S. with the help of celebrities, musician, artists and progressive leaders as part of a movement calling for a more just and sustainable economy.

Legislative visits, art, culture and movement-building training take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The pop-up dinner with Van Jones is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

If you've been feeling apathetic, this might just be the place to get your activist mojo back. The event is free. You can RSVP by clicking here.

Get involved

December 30th, 2011

NOAA's Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve is seeking advisory council applicants. Photo by Claire Fackler, NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries

NOAA's Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve is seeking advisory council applicants. Photo by Claire Fackler, NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries

If you care about nature, it's time to get involved. Here's your opportunity for the new year.

Several advisory committee positions are open, both for NOAA's Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosytem Reserve and the state Forest Stewardship Advisory Committee.

>> NOAA is seeking applicants for six seats on its advisory council, which provides advice and recommendations to the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, a division of the National Ocean Service. The council also ensures public participation in management of the country's largest marine conservation area.

Candidates are selected based on their expertise and experience, community and professional affiliations and views regarding the protection and management of marine and cultural resources. The seats come with a two-year term. Members serve without pay but will be provided airfare and lodging at neighbor island meetings. The council meets about four to five times a year for one-to-two days.

Applications are being accepted for two primary seats — Native Hawaiian and Ocean-Related Tourism and four alternates for Conservation, Native Hawaiian Elder and Native Hawaiian.

>> The state DLNR is also seeking applications for its Forest Stewardship as well as the Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Programs in 2012.

The Forest Stewardship Advisory Committee reviews and recommends project proposals and management plans for the State's Forest Stewardship and Forest Legacy Programs. Ideal candidates have significant forestry/conservation experience in Hawaii. The committee meets four times a year throughout the state. Terms are for three years. Visit to download an application.

The Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program Council reviews project proposals and recommends approval for funding to DLNR. Issues include: mapping the urban tree canopy and maintaining a tree inventory; advancing the knowledge of tropical urban forestry; management plans; training for urban forestry industry professionals; and creating public awareness of the value and benefits of trees. Council meets four times a year. Three-year term. Visit to download an application.

More green jobs

June 30th, 2011


Jimmy Cholynay works on his science teacher's bicycle with mentor Matt Yee at the Kalihi Valley Instructional Bike Exchange (KVIBE) in Kalihi. KVIBE is looking for a program manager. Photo by Jamm Aquino.

Looking for a green job? There are a few places hiring.

Hawaii Energy, the third-party administrator of HECO's rebate programs, is hiring for several positions.

If you're not familiar with Hawaii Energy, they're the ones who process the rebates for solar water heaters as well as clunker refrigerators, ceiling fans and CFL bulbs.

Hawaii Energy is part of SAIC, a Fortune 500 scientific, engineering, and technology applications company (yes, that's a mouthful), which works to solve "problems of vital importance to the nation and the world, in national security, energy and the environment..."

Attention bike enthusiasts: Kokua Kalihi Valley, a community-based group, is also looking for a full-time Kalihi Valley Instructional Bike Exchange (KVIBE) manager. It's a program where donated bicycles are repaired, refurbished and given back out to youth in the community.

The youth in the program learn to build and maintain a bicycle, and then get to keep it after all of the work they have put into it. The program helps instill self-confidence, and provides an alternative to at-risk behaviors.

The KVIBE Manager oversees bike shop operations, including the budget, inventory, safety controls, and works with volunteers, staff, and participants  — and leads community rides. Perfect for a bike enthusiast who doesn't want to sit in an office cubicle all day. Apply for the position at if interested, or deliver your resume and cover letter to 2239 North School St., Honolulu HI 96819.

Honeywell is also looking for a senior solar program coordinator in Honolulu. Responsibilities include supervising solar program staff, coordinating daily activities, and creating training programs for customer service representatives and program coordinators. The position is posted at greenjobshawaii,org.

Blue Planet is hiring

May 12th, 2011

Looking for a green-collar job?

The Blue Planet Foundation is hiring for three open positions, including program director, operations director, and development director, with an expected start date of late June.

It's great to see green-collar jobs becoming available, with solar companies adding to their staff, and eco-conscious companies hiring sustainability coordinators. The Blue Planet Foundation, the non-profit launched by video game entrepreneur Henk Rogers, aims to end the use of fossil fuels in Hawaii.

To apply, send a cover letter, resume and writing sample (relevant to the position) to Applications are due by 5 p.m., Hawaii Time, on Friday, May 27.

Program Director
The Program Director serves in the key role of innovating, researching, developing, and executing Blue Planet’s clean energy programs and projects. The ideal candidate has an advanced degree in science or engineering; extensive experience in project management, development, and implementation; a deep understanding of both clean energy issues and social and cultural issues in Hawai‘i; and possesses a positive, team-oriented, enthusiastic attitude.

Operations Director
The Operations Director serves as the point person in the Blue Planet office, managing all aspects of administrative and nonprofit operations in a fast-paced team setting. The ideal candidate has at least five years of executive administrative experience; is an excellent communicator; has excellent organizational and computer skills (including graphics design software); takes initiative and can multitask fluidly; has a creative, adaptive problem-solving ability; possesses a positive, enthusiastic attitude, and enjoys working with a diverse, driven team.

Development director
This is the perfect opportunity for a development generalist to apply his or her experience to building Blue Planet's capacity to catalyze clean energy change. The Development Director will serve as the primary architect and implementer of all fundraising initiatives while working effectively with the Executive Director, Board, and staff to achieve aggressive fundraising goals. The ideal candidate has extensive fundraising experience through a variety of methods with a proven record in successful solicitation of major gifts and large grants. Blue Planet is seeking either a part-time employee or independent contractor to fill this critical role.