• Aloha Connects Innovation (ACI) program to assist displaced workers

    August 24, 2020

    About the Program 

    What is the Aloha Connects Innovation (ACI) program? 
    Aloha Connects Innovation (ACI) is a new initiative led by the Economic Development Alliance of
    Hawaii (EDAH) to nurture and grow knowledge-based work opportunities in Hawaii and fuel our
    emerging industries and innovation sectors. Originally envisioned by Omar Sultan of Sultan
    Ventures, the program is designed to help convert the loss of jobs due to COVID-19 into a potential
    new career opportunity for our residents.

    Who is the ACI program intended to serve?
    The ACI program is designed to serve:
    • Displaced workers as a result of the COVID-19 impact
    • Recent college graduates
    • Recent high school graduates

    How long will the ACI project last?
    The ACI project will last about 4 months, beginning on September 1 and ending on December 15,
    2020. The timeframe of this program is very tight, so we encourage you to apply as soon as possible.
    What are the Innovation sectors featured in the ACI program?
    The Innovation sectors consists of non-tourism dependent emerging industries which includes, but is
    not limited to the following:
    • Clean Energy
    • Local Foods, Production and
    • Manufacturing
    • Natural Resource Management
    • Waste Reduction Services
    • Smart, Sustainable communities
    • Technology, Cyber Security
    • STEM fields
    • Healthcare
    • Creative Industries
    • Aquaculture
    • Aerospace
    • Manufacturing
    • Agri-tech
    Who is presenting the ACI program?
    The Economic Development Alliance of Hawaii, otherwise known as EDAH, is pleased to serve as the
    presenting organization of the program. Formed in 1998, EDAH is a statewide nonprofit organization
    whose mission is to create shared sustainable prosperity and opportunity through responsible,
    diversified economic development across the Hawaiian Islands.

    Who is funding the ACI program?
    ACI is funded by Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. The funding originates
    through the CARES Act which made federal funding available to the Hawaii state government.

    How will the COVID-19 pandemic affect the program?
    To address COVID-19 on operations, the AIC will require that all Host Companies and Participants
    follow government recommendations and policies that relate to COVID-19. Guidelines include but
    are not limited to social distancing, mask wearing, and public gathering protocols. ALTRES will also
    assist with assessing safety protocols and precautions in the workplace.

    Host Companies
    What is a Host Company?
    A Host Company is where a Participant is placed and offers a safe and rewarding internship.

    How are Host Companies selected?
    Eligible Host Companies are companies in non-tourism-dependent emerging industries that may be
    more resilient to the lasting impacts of COVID-19. Host Companies are selected according to their
    ability to provide meaningful internship opportunities in the Innovation sector. Host Companies must
    be willing and able to mentor, train, support, and provide day to day supervision for interns
    throughout the program.

    What is a Host Company required to do?
    A Host Company will offer an enriching experience for the Participant, introducing them to a new
    industry or field and a new set of skills. Host Companies will provide day to day mentoring of
    Participants, working with ALTRES (the programʻs PEO) regarding the Participantʻs pay, benefits, or
    human resources needs, and ensure a safe working environment.

    What are the Host Companyʻs reporting requirements
    A Host Company will approve timesheets for each Participant, report on the number of Participants
    and hours worked, check in with EDAH on a regular basis, participate in monthly evaluation progress
    reports, and participate in an evaluation at the end of the program.
    Is the Host Company required to pay the Participant in the Aloha Connects Innovation program?
    No. ACI will cover the wages and benefits of the Participant from as early as September 1 to
    December 14, 2020.

    Is the Host Company guaranteed to receive a Participant?
    A placement is not guaranteed through this program so EDAH suggests you apply to be a Host
    Company as soon as possible.

    Will the ACI assist the Host Company with preparing and nurturing the Participant?
    Yes, each Host Company will be linked to a Facilitator, an organization whose role is assist the Host
    Company with posting their opening on the ALTRES site, helping them with developing an enriching
    Participant experience, and providing them with support for the duration of the program.

    Will the Host Company be compensated for accepting a Participant for the Aloha Connects
    Innovation program?

    Yes, the Host Company will be provided $800 per month per Participant each month for committing
    to the experience for the Participant. The Host Company would sign a contract with EDAH and
    provide proper tax documentation to be eligible for the compensation.
    How many Participants are Host Companies allowed to accept through the ACI program?
    EDAH suggests no more than two Participants per Host Company because of the mentoring that we
    anticipate during the internship. Exceptions will be at the discretion of EDAH. Participants, especially
    those with little to no experience in your will need your support and encouragement to succeed.

    How do displaced workers and students apply for the ACI program?
    Interested residents can apply to be a Participant in ACI on the
    ALTRES website by clicking here.
    Applicants will be selected by Host Companies contingent upon the Participantʻs successful
    completion of the pre-employment process.

    What kind of job opportunities Participants be offered?
    Through ACI, Participants can expect to work in emerging sectors listed above. They will explore
    Innovation work as a possible new career to pursue. Clerical and administrative work should not be
    the primary function of the job.

    How are Participants selected?
    The target population or eligible Participants to be served by this Program are displaced workers,
    recent college graduates, and recent high school graduates living in the state of Hawaii. Host
    Companies will select Participants who apply to the program through
    ALTRES and meet the
    qualifications for the position.

    Will Participants have access to training for desired or required skills?
    All Participants must enroll in a Higher Skills Academy and Microsoft training date during the
    pre-employment process. Participants will also have access to other training opportunities, budget
    permitting, as well as a host of on the job training provided by their Host Company.

    Does a resident need to have a background or past experience in innovation to apply?
    No. You just need to have an interest in learning new skills and trying new jobs. To help us find the
    best match for you, include your volunteer activities, talents, or hobbies that may make you an
    exceptional applicant for an Innovation sector job.

    How will Participants benefit from the ACI program?
    Participants will:
    • Learn about yourself and develop your reflection skills through the Higher Skills Academy and
    • Microsoft training program
    • Receive on-the-job training and experiences
    • Interact and learn from innovation industry leaders, their colleagues and networks, and other
    • Participants
    • Be paid on this journey including benefits
    • Help shift Hawaiiʻs economy to more resilient sectors

    Where can I go to find out more information about the ACI program?
    For more information, go to https://www.edahawaii.org or email info@edahawaii.org