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Leeward Community College's Workforce Development Office (OCEWD) is located on the Diamond Head end of the Leeward Community College campus, with ample free parking. We are on the city bus line, which makes it convenient to commute from anywhere on Oahu.


Get In Touch
(808) 455-0477
96-045 Ala Ike, Room CE 101, Pearl City, HI 96782

Our Location

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Who We Are

HICARES (Hawai’i Career and Resiliency Education Support) was founded in April, 2020 during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic at a time when over 200,000 Hawai’i residents filed for unemployment within a single month. In response, organizers rallied with Aloha and unity to collectively leverage our resources to lift Hawaii’s unemployed and to support small businesses. Aʻohe hana nui ka alo ʻia. “No task is too big when we work together.”  

We offer and promote innovative and effective learning opportunities and supports for residents and businesses who are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis so that they may successfully navigate new ways of leading, working, and thriving in Hawaii’s workforce and economy. As the Coronavirus pandemic abates and Hawaii’s Aloha surges HICARES will evolve and endure. Aloha ke aloha. “Aloha is endless.”


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To develop a resilient workforce by providing education, innovative resources, and workforce development opportunities in partnership with our community contributors and alliances.


  1. Increase our network of key partner Agencies, Organizations and Individuals interested in collaborating to contribute content, resources, or support for our Mission and community.
  2. Develop a resilient community prepared to enter the workforce with optimism, confidence, leadership, and employable skills relevant to current industry needs.
  3. Improve access to higher education and employment training opportunities for our individuals and businesses pursuing self-sufficiency and economic mobility.
  4. Provide innovative services designed to instill skills in resiliency and employment while assisting individuals and businesses to navigate holistic, just-in- supports available from Government and Private partners.

Strategies to Drive Our Mission

Seek and foster collaborative community partnerships to align funding and educational opportunities for our community.  Strategic and creative partnerships will improve accessibility to workforce training resulting in the attainment of economic equality for our residents.

Develop, provide and promote resources and training designed to instill skills in resiliency, leadership and workforce development for Individuals and small businesses seeking self-sufficiency.

Promote and design curriculum and resources intended to meet Individuals and businesses at their level while providing multiple pathways to access higher education opportunities.  Innovative services and training should be responsive to industry and workforce while emphasizing industry recognized credentialing, work-based learning and alignments to meaningful career pathways.

Adopt evidenced-based practices and policies proven to be effective in progressing communities through economic mobility.  Contribute and participate in partnerships engaged in systemic reform and transformative change with a holistic view of student needs for success.

Strategically promote and provide services that instill hope, confidence, resilience, and workforce skills in our community and businesses to develop our future leadership.

Our Network

Our growing HICARES team leverages unique resources from individuals, government agencies, professional associations, community based organizations, and more. Through this diverse network we are able to offer and promote inspiring speakers, training opportunities, funding sources, employment training programs and more under the unified goal to serve our community job seekers and businesses.


TO REGISTER: Click on the “CLICK TO REGISTER” button. You’ll be taken to a course page where you can click a button to register. Then, you’ll be taken to a screen where you’ll be presented with two tabs – click the “Sign Up” tab (first-time users), an account will be created for you. If you already have an account, use the “Login” tab to enter your username and password.

WAITING LIST: If a session has reached maximum capacity, you may choose to be placed on a wait list, and you may register if space becomes available.

RECORDED SESSION AVAILABLE: If you are unable to attend the session, a recorded version will be available 3-5 business days after the original webinar date.

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SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETATION: For the deaf or hard of hearing, sign language interpretation can be made available. To request an interpreter, please email Elyse Matsumoto by the Monday before the webinar. If you miss the requested deadline, Leeward CC will do its best to provide an interpreter; however, if interpretation is not available, a video recording with closed captioning will be available within five (5) business days after the event.     

The Power of Perspective

presented by Dr. Loretta Chen

Where will we be in six months, a year, ten years from now? With the global pandemic upending life as we know it, many of us wonder what the future holds. What can we do if feeling helpless is not a viable state of being?

The Power of Perspective is predicated on interdisciplinary theories backed by empirical evidence, theoretical models, local case studies and personal experience that prove that changing our outlook can lead to a greater sense of agency, empowerment and positive outcomes. Drawing from the McKinsey Leadership Project, award-winning creative, best-selling author and leadership consultant, Dr Loretta Chen will share her work on Authentic Leadership with an emphasis on the 3Ps – Personal Reflection, Positionality and Perspective.

Through this interactive 60 minute webinar, let’s dive into the possibility of transformative change not only within ourselves, but within the community too!

Dr Loretta Chen is an award-winning executive creative director for brands such as Louis Vuitton, Samsung, Nike amongst others and is a professor and best-selling author. Her latest book, Inspiring Women of Hawaii was launched last fall with proceeds going towards the Women of Waianae Scholarship fund. A nominated Member of Parliament from Singapore, Dr Chen has hosted the World Cities Summit; voted one of Asia’s Most Inspiring Women and was the International Consultant to Druk Holdings and Investments (DHI), the government investment arm of Bhutan.  A frequent keynote and TED speaker, Dr Chen sits on the board of Manoa Valley Theater, is an Ordained Minister for non-denominational unions and a trained mediator with the Mediation Center of the Pacific.

Now living her dream in Hawaii, she teaches at Leeward Community College and is cat mom to eight fur babies. Her upcoming short film Secrets to Happiness will be screened at international film festivals including Cannes and Honolulu. She is humbled to be part of HI CARES and wishes to do her utmost for the aloha state she now calls home.

Building a Successful Career After COVID-19

presented by Faustino Dagdag

The COVID-19 crisis has dramatically disrupted workplace practices throughout the world and Hawai’i is no exception. The need for social distancing has launched our workforce into an era grounded almost exclusively in no-contact interactions and digital communications. This abrupt transition in work conditions and job requirements has accelerated the urgency to understand the developing needs and expectations of Hawaii’s labor market. In this workshop, participants will learn how to identify their own skill inventories and explore strategic “pivoting skills” for building an adaptable career in a rapidly changing work environment.

Faustino “Dag” Dagdag is a Business instructor at Leeward Community College who teaches Management, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship. As founder of Principal of Profit consulting firm, he held executive managerial positions in marketing, operations, and sales with local, national, and international corporations. After 31 successful years, Dag “pivoted” his business prowess into a teaching career, which first began at Kapiolani Community College in 2002.

Dag continues to invest in our community serving as the President of the Society of Human Resource Management-Hawaii Chapter and on workforce development committees such as the State Workforce Development Council, Chamber of Commerce’s 4HI Program, and American Job Centers.

The Leadership Playbook

presented by Dr. Marina Piscolish

Great discussions and great problem-solving lead to great decisions. Making sound decisions that win broad, lasting support is an essential skill for leaders, teams, and organizations. In the age of virtual meeting landscapes, how do we evolve from meetings where we “check-in” to meetings where we “dig-in” to important issues in an impactful way? In this session, we learn three key conflict resolution skills that can expedite successful group problem solving and decision making: 1) identify your true needs, 2) negotiate in light of others’ true needs, and 3) communicate the outcome to win broad support for the decision and the process that got you there. We will examine how using virtual meeting apps might make collaborative processes even more powerful (in certain ways) than face-to-face gatherings. The skills learned will work, whether near or far!

Marina Piscolish, Ph.D. founded MAPping Change, LLC, a full-service conflict and collaboration consultancy, including coaching. Her work spans sectors from education to environment, diverse clients from single agencies to multi-year, cross-cultural, cross-sector collaborations and works coast to coast, though, extensively in Hawaii and the Pacific. Marina is passionate about culturally competent, customized support beyond planning through implementation and advocates leaving skills behind.  She co-authored “Reaching for Higher Ground: Creating Powerful, Purposeful, and Principled Groups and Communities” (2009).

Nourishing Happiness

presented by Dr. Maya Soetoro

How do we nourish and sustain happiness for ourselves, our families, and our communities in the face of global challenges? How do we make meaning of such challenges and transform suffering into growth? Drawing from her long tenure as a peace educator, Maya will explore tools and resources for manifesting and nourishing happiness in our lives every day, with a focus on nourishing resilient happiness for the hard days. She will lead participants through an exploration of strategies for self-care; balancing solitude with community connection; forgiveness; and the concept of “letting go”. Participants will leave the webinar with insight and approaches to incorporate into their own personal tool kits for nourishing happiness within, between, and in service to others.

Maya serves as an Associate Specialist at the Matsunaga Institute for Peace and a consultant to the Obama Foundation, working closely with their international team to develop programming in the Pacific-Asia region. Prior to her work with the Obama Foundation, she was the Director of the Matsunaga Institute where, in addition to leading outreach and development initiatives, she also taught Leadership for Social Change, History of Peace Movements, Peace Education, and Conflict Management for Educators. She is also the co-founder of the nonprofits Needs of Peace, Institute for Climate and Peace, and Peace Studios.

Lean In: Women's Leadership Circle

presented by Women Leaders from various local industries

This webinar is designed specifically for women and presented by women leaders from various industries namely – healthcare, education, finance, business, community and HR. Our panelists will share candidly on industry responses to COVID-19 as well as best practices through a womanist lens. The participating organizations include Chamber of Commerce, Central Pacific Bank, Honolulu City Council, Inkinen & Associates, and Leeward Community College. Dr Loretta Chen moderates.

Kymberly Pine, Honolulu City Council Member, District 1

Kymberly Pine is the Honolulu City Council member representing District 1. She is the Chair of the Council Committee on Business Economic Development and Tourism. She previously served as a Representative in the State House of Representatives and is currently in the running as Mayor of Honolulu.

Sherry Menor McNamara, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii

As President and CEO of the Chamber, Sherry Menor-McNamara is the youngest, first female and Japanese-Filipino leader in the organization’s 169-year history. She previously worked for the Hawaii State Legislature, ESPN’s Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Sony Corporation, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Estee Lauder Company, Elton John Production, U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka and the Executive Office of the United States President.

Patty Foley, Central Pacific Bank

Patty Foley is the Executive Vice President, Human Resources for Central Pacific Bank. She has over 30years experience in all disciplines of human resources in major private and public companies in Hawaii. She is the Chair of the Board of Trustees for St. Andrews Schools, board member & HR committee member for Blood Bank of Hawaii. She is also a certified fitness instructor at the YMCA.

Ann Katekaru, Inkinen Associates

Ann Katekaru is a Senior Consultant with Inkinen & Associates, a locally-based executive search firm. She has over 30 years of human resources management experience in real estate, healthcare and banking. She was former board director for the Society of Human Resources Management’s Hawaii Chapter and currently sits on its Workforce Development Committee. She is a current member of the Human Resources and Education Committee for the Retail Merchants of Hawaii and the UH Alumni Association.

Dr. Erin Thompson, Leeward Community College

Erin Thompson is a professor and coordinator for the Innovation Center for Teaching and Learning at Leeward Community College where she earned honors such as the Carnegie Project on Education Doctorate Dissertation of the Year Award, NACADA Region 9 Excellence in Advising Award, and the University of Hawai’i Governor’s Team of the Year Award. Her passion is to serve Hawaii’s people through affordable, accessible higher education.

Four C's of Career Resiliency

presented by Ben Ancheta

Building a lasting career depends on the individual, not on the labor market or economy. Presenter Ben Ancheta, President of Inkinen & Associates, will share his “4 C’s of Career Resiliency,” designed to help you identify your core strengths and weaknesses, develop a comfort level in a variety of communication settings, understand your direction and seek proper guidance, and build the confidence you need to succeed in any career.

Ben Ancheta acquired Inkinen & Associates in June of 2018 and now sits as the President of Hawaii’s premier executive search firm. His impressive career includes executive roles at ProService Hawaii and leadership positions within the `ike family of companies, including having served as Chief Operating Officer of ‘Ekahi Health. Ben also sits on the boards of Navian Hawaii, KCAA Preschools, and the American Red Cross.

Speaking the 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace

presented by Cori Conner & Angela Coloretti McGough

Think about some of the best places you’ve worked. What made it so enjoyable? It’s likely that the work culture included effective recognition and appreciation. To maintain positive morale, your co-workers, clients, and even your supervisors need to know they are appreciated. This is especially true in times of crisis, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this interactive workshop, you will learn about the Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, developed by Dr. Paul White and Dr. Gary Chapman in the book by the same name. You will leave with a new perspective on communication and how you can play a role in developing a positive work culture.

Cori Conner, Leeward CC

Cori Conner has been at Leeward Community College for the past 10 years. Prior to that, she worked for the Department of Education teaching English at Leilehua High School. In her current position as the Director of Leeward’s Job Prep Center, Cori provides employment and career readiness services and supports to all current and former Leeward Community College students. She has envisioned innovation employment support programs such as major-specific and virtual job fairs as well as career and industry information sessions. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Angela Coloretti McGough, Kapiolani CC

Angela Coloretti McGough is the interim Student Affairs Coordinator at Kapi‘olani Community College. She has over 20 years of professional experience in higher education, including serving as the Coordinator of the Employment Prep Center at Kapi‘olani Community College, and Director of the career services office at Chaminade University of Honolulu.  She spent many years prior working in federally funded TRiO programs and within student affairs at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Angela holds a Master’s Degree in Education, Counseling in Student Affairs, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a Specialization in Education from UCLA.

The Elasticity Factor: Thriving in a Post-COVID Economy

presented by Hawai‘i Pacific Health and UHCC Representatives

The devastating impacts of COVID-19 are prevalent throughout Hawaii’s healthcare, socio-economic, and educational systems. Thousands of jobs have been redescribed, eliminated, or replaced. Surviving and thriving in a competitive, post-COVID labor market requires “elasticity,” the ability to change and adapt, and a willingness to reinvent ourselves and our businesses. In this webinar, panelists Sunshine Topping (Sr VP Human Resources, Hawaii Pacific Health), Jessica Sphar (Director of Employee Relations, Hawaii Pacific Health), Faustino Dagdag (Business Professor, Leeward Community College), and Su Lazo (Career Counselor, Kapi ʻolani CC) share their perspectives on how businesses and individuals can remain “elastic” in order to survive and thrive in Hawaii’s changing economic landscape. Dr. Erin Thompson moderates.

Jessica Sphar, Hawai‘i Pacific Health

Jessica Sphar is currently a Director of Employee Relations at Hawai‘i Pacific Health, where she oversees staff who provide Employee/Labor Relations support to the Management Teams for Straub and Pali Momi Medical Center. Jessica has been with Hawai‘i Pacific Health for 8 years and worked for Straub Medical Center, prior to its merger with Hawai‘i Pacific Health. She also served as the Director of Human Resources for Hawai‘i Medical Center/St. Francis Healthcare Systems of Hawai‘i. Jessica obtained both her Master’s and Bachelors in Human Resources from Shidler School of Business at UH Manoa and is SHRM-CP and PHRI certified.

Sunshine Topping, Hawai‘i Pacific Health

Sunshine Topping is the Sr. Vice President of Human Resources at Hawai‘i Pacific Health.  A seasoned Human Resources Executive with over 20 years of progressive strategic HR leadership, Sunshine has worked in some of Hawai‘i’s largest companies executing corporate projects including co-leading enterprises through rapid growth, mergers, and acquisitions.  She has led the Human Resource function at Hawaiian Telcom, Hawaiian Airlines, and served in Governor Neil Abercrombie’s cabinet as the State’s Director of Human Resources.  Sunshine is the Chair of the Sector Strategies and Career Pathways Committee for the WDC and serves on the States Workforce Development Board as well as the non-profit boards for Ho’okua’aina and the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation.  She is passionate about finding and growing opportunities for locals to be able to stay in Hawai‘i with competitive wages and fulfilling careers.

Su Lazo, Kapi‘olani CC

Su Lazo currently manages the Employment Prep Center at Kapi‘olani Community College where she loves to help students make informed decisions about their career and employment goals. Before working in higher education, she enjoyed an eight year career in the defense consulting industry in Washington, D.C. Originally from Kaua‘i, Su earned her BBA in Finance and Management from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and her MS.Ed in College Counseling from Old Dominion University. She is a National Certified Counselor and certified in career development training. An active leader in the community, Su serves as the 2020 Individual Development Vice President for the Filipino Junior Chamber.

Faustino Dagdag, Leeward CC

Faustino “Dag” Dagdag is a Business instructor at Leeward Community College who teaches Management, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship. As founder of Principal of Profit consulting firm, he held executive managerial positions in marketing, operations, and sales with local, national, and international corporations. After 31 successful years, Dag “pivoted” his business prowess into a teaching career, which first began at Kapiolani Community College in 2002.

Dag continues to invest in our community serving as the President of the Society of Human Resource Management-Hawaii Chapter and on workforce development committees such as the State Workforce Development Council, Chamber of Commerce’s 4HI Program, and American Job Centers.


We are working to quickly post and promote free webinars, career research guides, funding opportunities, training programs, partner websites, tips and tricks and many other resources.  These resources and more are designed to inspire and instill skills and resiliency in Hawaii’s job seekers and small businesses.

Special online training opportunity in PHARMACY TECH provided by Leeward Community College

Leeward Community College’s Office of Continuing Education and Workforce Development is proud to offer a special accelerated online training opportunity for one of Hawai‘i’s high-demand careers, Pharmacy Technician. We are opening the first cohort to participants in the most need, particularly Hawaii’s growing unemployed and dislocated workers. Seating will be limited, with all applicants screened to determine eligibility.

This 9-week course prepares participants for the Pharmacy Technician Certifcation Exam® (PTCE®), and enables them to earn a national certification.

Leeward is committed to work with the selected students to cover the costs for this unique and timely training opportunity.


Click the button below to fill out a short application form and receive further instructions.

Learn more about PTCB certification:

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