In response to community concerns about keeping jobs in Hawai‘i for local businesses and workers, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) has pivoted its Hawaiian Trades Academy to focus on workforce development with the launch of its Maui Workforce Development Program. This program will provide free certification and job training courses to Maui residents beginning Sept. 15, 2023. In-person instruction will be held at a new classroom space near CNHA’s Kākoʻo Maui Resource Hub at Maui Mall Village in Kahului.

We need to make sure that our Maui residents and Maui-based companies, are front and center when these job opportunities become available. Our classes will help to ensure that they are prepared to take on that task,said Kūhiō Lewis, CEO of CNHA. “These workforce development courses will provide opportunities for individuals who have lost their jobs as a result of the fires. We want to help empower the Maui community to move forward together.”

Maui residents interested in classes can sign up at The following courses will be offered starting Friday, September 15 and will be delivered in a phased format:

  • OSHA-10 Construction Certification (10-hour program): Designed to train workers in the basics of occupational safety and health. Assists employers in training and introducing employees to the basic practices of identifying, reducing, eliminating, and reporting hazards associated with their work. Maximum of 30 students.
  • OSHA-30 Construction Certification (30-hour program): Designed for anyone in the construction industry, specifically to meet the requirement for safety directors, forepersons, and field supervisors. Provides essential safety information on OHSA compliance issues. Upon completion, earn OSHA-30 card. Maximum of 30 students.
  • HAZMAT: Awareness level course for individuals who may be handling, responding to, or exposed to hazardous materials at work or home. Maximum of 30 students.
  • HAZWOPER-24 Certification (24-hour program): Designed for workers who spend limited time at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites, or will not be exposed to dangerous levels of hazardous substances in their line of work. Covers a wide range of safety and health topics relevant to hazardous waste operations including, how to recognize and avoid the risks of hazardous materials, use of personal protective equipment, hazard communications, decontamination, site emergencies, general workplace safety topics, and more. Maximum of 20 students.
  • HAZWOPER-40 Certification (40-hour program): Designed for most workers who are new to operations involving hazardous waste or emergency response actions. Covers a wide range of safety and health topics relevant to hazardous waste operations. Students will learn to safely and properly perform required or voluntary cleanup job duties in compliance with OSHA’s HAZWOPER standard. Maximum of 20 students.

“We are also looking for local companies who want to provide training for their employees. We can help facilitate group training classes for them,” added Lewis.

The following courses will be launched at a later date:

  • Commercial Drive License (CDL) A (6-week program): Designed to train individuals interested in driving a commercial motor vehicle requiring a CDL-A. Course includes permit preparation to obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP), Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) test preparation, and behind-the-wheel training. Must be 21 years of age or older with a valid driver’s license and current medical examiner’s certificate (Form MCSA-5876).\
  • CDL HAZMAT Endorsement (2-day program): Designed to provide study assistance as well as relevant study material on the HAZMAT knowledge test to CDL drivers interested in getting their hazardous materials endorsement, which is required for drivers of vehicles that transport hazardous materials requiring placards. The class provides those interested in the required ELDT with theory knowledge and tests needed to receive HAZMAT endorsement. Must have CDL and clean background.
  • Forklift safety training (8-hour course): Designed to provide formal instruction and training on safely and properly operating a forklift. Course is intended for individuals in construction or general industry seeking a forklift certification.
  • Carpentry (12-week program): Designed to equip individuals with hands-on opportunities to learn and hone skills necessary for entry-level carpentry positions. Introduces students to foundational knowledge needed to prepare for employment in the carpentry trade and further opportunities for a career in the construction industry. Includes training for trade certifications, such as, OSHA-10, Respiratory, or First Aid that add value to a resume.

CNHA’s Hawaiian Trades Academy delivers workforce development programs across the state. Since its inception, the Hawaiian Trades Academy has serviced more than 500 students in carpentry, craftsmanship, CDL-A licensing, firefighter exam preparation, police officer exam preparation, and solar energy. For more information on CNHA’s Maui Workforce Development Programs, please contact Hawaiian Trades Academy Program Manager Kāne Lindsey at (808) 204– 2726 or