Originally posted by Hawaii News Now

Sponsored by Aloha United Way

Aloha United Way has been serving Hawaii and its communities for 100 years. It brings together people, resources, and the community to help solve some of the more difficult issues in the state. By partnering with organizations like the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA), Aloha United Way is able to help provide people with new opportunities that will lead to financial stability.

CNHA is a member-based nonprofit, and its mission is to enhance the political, economic, social and community development for Native Hawaiians. It aims to better support Hawaii’s ALICE population, which stands for asset limited, income constrained, and employed.

“Aloha United Way has a long history here in Hawaii,” says CNHA Program Manager Rona Kekauoha. “CNHA is very fortunate to receive monies that helped launch our Hawaiian Trades Academy and support the ALICE population.”

The nonprofit applied for the ALICE grant from Aloha United Way and is one of the 10 organizations that receive it. Norm Baker, chief operating officer for Aloha United Way, says CNHA is a perfect example of the work Aloha United Way is trying to do with Hawaii’s ALICE population.

“CNHA has started a program aimed at carpenters, electricians, police and firemen, that prepares folks that are in that ALICE population to move into far more financially stable situations,” he explains. “We learned many years ago that there are many, many jobs in this community that are very well-paying, but we don’t have the workforce with the proper skills and training to take those jobs on.” Jordan Lealao, who currently works as a scaffolding builder at Atlas Sales Company, is a prime success story coming out of CNHA’s Hawaiian Trades Academy.

Lealao says he previously worked as a courier and was unhappy with his job and the pay. He found out about CNHA’s Hawaiian Trades Academy from his mother and immediately hopped on the opportunity. Lealoa spent 11 weeks in the program and says he appreciated the support he received throughout it. He is satisfied at Atlas Sales Company and makes more money to support his family.

Aloha United Way is proud to support more than 300 nonprofits, like CNHA, that do exceptional work in the community. Aloha United Way aims to help these organizations amplify their reach and impact and continue to provide critical services that help people achieve a better quality of life.

For more information: AUW.org, or on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: @AlohaUnitedWayhawaiiancouncil.org, Facebook.com/hawaiiancouncil, or on Instagram and Twitter: @hawaiiancouncil