Office of the Governor – News Release – Hawaiʻi Names Inaugural “Workforce Development Hero” Awardees

Posted on Sep 27, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases








September 27, 2023

HONOLULU  ̶  Governor Josh Green, M.D., heartily congratulates awardees and finalists of the inaugural Workforce Development Hero Awards, a program that seeks to recognize outstanding work in elevating the state’s workforce to its highest potential.

These achievements are highlighted as part of Workforce Development Month in September, which was celebrated nationally, and which the Governor proclaimed as such for the first time in Hawaiʻi.

“The state is focused on building a strong economy and it can only happen with a robust and resilient workforce. We are pleased to honor the tireless efforts of these individuals who have shown dedication in developing the pathways to lift our workforce so our communities can thrive and prosper,” said Governor Green.

The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR), through the Workforce Development Council, sponsored the awards program, which drew nominations from across the state.

The winners are, representing Oʻahu: Christine Park of the Department of Education, Waipahu Community Schools for Adults, and Carl Hinson of Hawaiʻi Pacific Health; representing Maui: Sonia Spring of Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR)/Maui; from Kauaʻi: Rich Uhl of Dev Island Kauaʻi; and from Hawaiʻi Island: Royce Shiroma of the County of Hawaiʻi Office of Housing and Community Development.

The Workforce Development Hero finalists include Ian Kitajima of Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR);Maylene Galicinao of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation/Hoʻopono-Services for the Blind Branch; Lance Jyo of McKinley School for Adults; Cary Miyashiro of the Workforce Development Council; Jaimee Tabangay of the DLIR Workforce Development Division/Oʻahu;Denise Pacheco of the DLIR Workforce Development Division/Big Island; and Adela Manera of DLIR Workforce Development Division/Kauaʻi.

Department of Education Superintendent Keith Hayashi will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his 34 years of service in advocating and supporting the pipeline to the education workforce. In addition, as principal of Waipahu High School, Superintendent Hayashi prioritized workforce development and workforce innovation, leading the school of 2,800 students and 160 teachers to become an institution of nationally recognized career academies during his 12-year tenure.

The six Workforce Development Hero awardees will be presented during the Future of Work 2024 conference scheduled for October 30,2023.

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Media Contacts:      

Erika Engle    

Press Secretary    

Office of the Governor, State of Hawai‘i    

Phone: (808) 586-0120   

Email: [email protected]    


Makana McClellan      

Director of Communications      

Office of the Governor, State of Hawaiʻi     

Cell: (808) 265-0083      

Email: [email protected]