Ocean resort

Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Foundation Supports Workforce Development at UHMC

From left to right: Ryan Nobriga, General Manager of Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Villas; Melissa Kunitzer, UHMC Ka Holu Support Team; Nicolette Van der Lee, UHMC, Ka Holu Program Director; 3) Candy McComb, owner of Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Villas; 4) Vic Henry, Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Foundation board member, owner of Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Villas and husband of Candy; Jocelyn Romero Demirbag, Director of Development, UH Foundation, Maui Nui; Dr. Lui Hokoana, Chancellor of UH Maui College; and Angela Nolan, GM Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club). Photo courtesy of UH Maui College.

The Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Foundation has made a third donation to the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College’s workforce development initiative known as Ka Holu in the amount of $25,000. The donation will cover training, certification test fees for vocational and technical education graduates, even expenses when graduates have to travel for certification tests only given off-island.

“Supporting the development of Maui’s workforce is a top priority for Owners who contribute to the Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Foundation and for all of its Trustees,” said Melissa Pavlicek, Executive Director of KORF. “We’ve seen with our own eyes how UH Maui College improves the lives of graduates, resulting in increased job skills and better-paying jobs.”

The previous two KORF gifts were used for HVAC training. Appropriately, the check presentation took place in the classroom of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources where the students installed AC as part of the KORF-funded course.

“There is nothing more powerful than helping people realize their potential,” said Ryan Nobriga, General Manager of Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Villas. “The Ka Holu initiative increases the number of people qualified to fill skilled trades positions right here on Maui,” he added. “It has a huge impact on our economy.”

About the initiative: Ka Holu: Developing a Resilient Workforce


Visionary businesses and philanthropists partner with UHMC to take the lead in solving Maui Nui’s labor shortage while providing career paths into gainful employment for Maui Nui’s youth.


The Ka Holu program provides accelerated career paths for residents to transition from minimum wage to paid employment while meeting the in-demand labor needs of local employers. The program integrates on-the-job training and job skills with industry-recognized certifications to better prepare trainees to get and keep jobs.

Ka Holu programs are free and supported by Hawaiian businesses and philanthropists. Their accelerated hybrid training programs include online courses, hands-on lab workshops, and job-readiness training for industry certification, internships, and job placement, ideally within three months. The program has now become the basis for Hana Career Pathways, a statewide grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education that builds on industry-wide momentum. state, workforce development, and education planning toward a prosperous, diverse, and resilient Hawai’i. UHMC partners with this program to extend our donor reach even further.