Office of the Governor: Hawaii to advance digital skill development for workers as part of NGA’s Workforce Innovation Network

Posted on Nov 3, 2021 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases

HONOLULU Gov. David Ige says he is pleased the National Governors Association (NGA) has selected Hawaiʻi for the second phase of its Workforce Innovation Network (NGA WIN), in which states will deploy cross-agency teams to identify and implement strategies that advance digital skill development and more equitable economic participation.

Hawaiʻi will receive up to $100,000 to create a plan and policies for building advanced digital skills in the state’s workforce and closing the digital gaps resulting from the accelerated trends in automation and digital transformation. The NGA Center will collaborate with NGA WIN advisors to deliver technical assistance and best practice resources through June 2022.

“We have a strong team that includes diverse stakeholders with expertise to advance a coordinated strategic approach to digital equity throughout the state. This grant supports our shared vision of a diversified economy with a focus on digital access and equity,” said Gov. Ige.

The State Public Library System will lead the team which includes representatives from the Office of the Governor, Office of Broadband and Digital Equity, Workforce Development Council, and community-based non-profit organizations with expertise in digital literacy. The Friends of the Library is the fiscal agent for the grant.

“We know that the future success of our communities will rely on technology and how digitally literate we are as a state. This funding allows Hawaiʻi to focus on supporting the digital literacy skills and economic success of our 21st Century workforce,” said State Librarian Stacey Aldrich.

The NGA Center will provide subgrants and technical assistance to Hawaiʻi’s team with support from NGA WIN founding sponsor, the Cognizant Foundation, and additional sponsors Intel, Microsoft, Western Governors University and Walmart, the latest addition to the growing coalition of NGA WIN partners and supporters.

States will utilize tools such as the Digital Equity Scorecard – developed by NGA WIN advisors at the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, National Skills Coalition and Microsoft – to gather new data on skill gaps and develop plans to address gaps in priority industries, geographies and demographics.

“Governors are leading with creative solutions to help workers and job seekers access the tools they need to succeed in a rapidly changing economy, and NGA is honored to support them,” said Timothy Blute, director of the NGA Center. “We look forward to working with these six states to help them develop and implement strategies to improve access to the digital skills that are increasingly essential to both workers and businesses.”

An initiative of the NGA Center’s Workforce Development and Economic Policy Program, NGA WIN was founded in January in partnership with the Cognizant Foundation as a nonpartisan action collaborative for state leaders committed to building an inclusive and resilient workforce. In March, NGA WIN awarded 10 states up to $100,000 each, and provided their multi-agency state teams with customized technical assistance. The goal is to improve employment outcomes in response to the economic impacts of COVID-19, by connecting job seekers to jobs, education or training opportunities and essential support services. Case studies and best practices from this first round of NGA WIN state grants will be published later this year.

Since its launch, NGA WIN has secured additional partnerships with Microsoft, Intel, Western Governors University and Walmart. It has also welcomed more than 20 new philanthropic supporters, subject matter experts, practitioners and industry leaders to assist Governors and state leaders in their workforce innovation efforts through grants and technical assistance.