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MAYOR ANNOUNCES EXPANDED CAREER TRAINING FOR AIRLINE WORKERS

            The City will use a $1.4 million federal grant to further help laid-off airline workers plan and train for new careers, Mayor Mufi Hannemann announced today.

“This is an ideal opportunity for these workers to learn new skills for career advancement and be competitive in the labor market,” Mayor Mufi Hannemann said. “These services are provided at no cost to qualified participants. Federal funds are limited and people should take advantage of the opportunity while these resources are available.” 

Since the layoffs were announced in April, the City has been helping find new employment for these workers by providing training and sponsoring job fairs. More than 40 have also been hired directly by the City. Mayor Hannemann said he recognizes that many others are still seeking employment, and that the City is determined to help.

                The Department of Community Services’ WorkHawaii Division, the lead agency for Oahu WorkLinks, received the $1.4 million national emergency grant to provide career planning, counseling, re-training, re-employment and support services to workers who were laid off from Aloha and ATA Airlines.

These workers qualify for full tuition assistance at public and private schools to pursue careers in high demand occupations. For those who are not currently working, there is no income eligibility. Those who are working qualify if they are receiving less than 90% of their former airline wages or their income is below the self-sufficiency threshold of $38,590 per year.   (The exception is pilot training, as the release of funds for training is still pending.)

About 190 workers have already enrolled with Oahu WorkLinks under another grant to upgrade their skills in a variety of fields such as Computer Applications; Commercial Driver License; Medical Assistants; Pharmacy Technicians; Paralegal; Web Design; Digital Media; Culinary Arts; Food Service; Office Administration; Cosmetology; Maritime License etc.  About 40 eligible training providers including universities, community colleges, and private schools offer full-time and part-time courses and programs island-wide.  

Career planning, job search assistance and re-employment services are also available to all former airline workers at no cost. About 200 have attended job search workshops and job clubs to polish their interviewing skills, update their resumes and share job hunting experiences in a peer supported environment. A former Aloha flight attendant trainer has been hired to conduct some of these workshops.  

Interested former airline employees should call Dillingham Oahu WorkLinks at 843-0733 or Waianae Oahu WorkLinks at 696-7067 for more information or to sign up for briefings.

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Media contact: Rolanse Crisafulli, Administrator, Oahu WorkLinks/WorkHawaii, 592-8621

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

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