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Maui Set To Receive $300,000 Federal Grant To Create STEM Apprenticeship Program, Help Develop Skilled Local Workforce

New Jobs Program, Funding From Legislation Authored By Schatz, Signed Into Law In 2017

WASHINGTON — Today, Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that the Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) will receive $300,000 in federal funding to develop a work-based apprenticeship program, offering Maui residents unique on-the-job training in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills to help solve challenges faced by local companies.

“We need more workers with STEM skills to help us rebuild our economy. This new federal funding will help Maui residents get important hands-on STEM training, while also helping businesses find innovative ways to grow and create new jobs,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “There's more to do, but this new apprenticeship program is a step in the right direction.”

This funding comes from the STEM Talent Challenge, a new grant program administered by the Economic Development Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Senator Schatz introduced the legislation creating the program, which was signed into law in 2017 as part of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act. Senator Schatz then worked to secure funding for the program in the fiscal year 2020 and 2021 appropriations bills.

This grant will help scale up MEDB’s STEMworks apprenticeship program. If successful, this program will help create jobs, spur innovation, and strengthen businesses in focus areas that are considered vital to the future of Hawaii’s economy — including renewable energy, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and agriculture.