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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                               February 22, 2006

Release No. M-15-06





            Mayor Mufi Hannemann today presented a check for $2 million to Goodwill Industries of Hawaii, Inc., for the acquisition of land in Kapolei to build Goodwill’s Ohana Career and Learning Center.

            Accepting the check was Laura Robertson, president and chief executive officer of Goodwill Industries, which plans an $11 million facility that will offer job training and counseling to 1,600 people a year. The Ohana Career and Learning Center will include classrooms equipped with advanced technology and a retail store and donation center.

            “It gives us at the City great pleasure to turn these federal community development block grant funds over to Goodwill Industries,” said Hannemann. “Their Ohana Career and Learning Center will address West Oahu’s need for basic employment skills training. It’s literally a step in the right direction as we try to develop more job opportunities in West Oahu, which is one of the key elements in my multipronged effort to address Oahu’s traffic congestion.”

            Robertson said the center will provide short-term classroom and on-the-job work experience programs, including retail sales training, customer service training, computer and clerical skills, commercial cleaning and general labor work experience.

            Robertson said, “We serve more than 6,000 people a year through education, employment and career development programs and about almost a third of them come from West Oahu. Our Ohana Career and Learning Center is really an opportunity to develop our workforce on the Leeward side.”

            Goodwill officials say they plan to raise more than half of the $11 million for the project – which includes the City’s grant from private sources, primarily Hawaii-based foundations and some national ones.

            “That’s just the kind of public-private partnership that my administration is actively seeking in order to make the most effective use of taxpayer dollars,” said Hannemann. “We’d also like to acknowledge City Council Budget Chairwoman Ann Kobayashi for supporting this grant in the budget.”

            The Ohana Career and Learning Center would be built on a 2.2-acre site in the Kapolei Business Park. Completion is scheduled for the spring of 2008, Robertson said.






            Bill Brennan, 527-6928

            Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767


            Laura Kay Rand, Goodwill vice president of corporate services, 551-6612

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

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