Connect to Careers — C2C

C2C is an industry-led coalition for Hawai‘i's economic future to collaboratively prepare students for success in high-skill, in-demand careers at both state and regional levels. It is a business-led effort with aligned K-16 curriculum and opportunities that will be tracked for effectiveness via data and industry feedback. Partners include employers, state educational systems, funders, and workforce and economic development agencies.

​Career and Technical EducationA curricular and assessments program to ensure students fully develop their career and academic potential. It includes six articulated career pathways with dozens of programs of study.

About C2C

C2C logoCareer readiness is an evolving target. New skill sets and aptitudes needed by employers keeping pace with changing markets and consumer demands require relevant and rigorous learning opportunities that can flexibly adapt.

Connect to Careers is a coalition for Hawaii's economic future. It is designed to collaboratively prepare students for success in high-skill, in-demand career pathways at both state and regional levels. The effort has three pillars:

​Business Led ​Aligned Curriculum & Opportunities ​Tracking Effectiveness

​Industry identifies needed entry level skill sets and employability qualities, and collaborates on degrees and certifications that prepare students for these opportunities.

​The K-12 and post-secondary educational systems coordinate relevant and rigorous learning pathways that answer these needs.

​Data and industry feedback are used to determine which pathways are leading to successful careers and incomes that build and sustain thriving communities in Hawai‘i.

The coalition leverages Hawai‘i's successful P-20 infrastructure to grow and sustain high-growth industries, both statewide and regionally; strengthens the rigor and relevance of high-quality career pathways that begin in high school and extend through postsecondary; and improves the preparation and professional development of teachers and counselors to help students obtain credentials that employers value. As a result, we expect that far more students will demonstrate:  

  • the rigorous academic preparation needed to succeed in college;
  • career understanding; and,
  • employability skills.

The C2C coalition includes employers, state educational systems (Hawaii DOE, University of Hawaii System), funders, and workforce and economic development agencies. Coalition building and planning was facilitated with a national planning grant competitively awarded to the Hawaii DOE in 2016. If your business has questions about how to participate, please contact program liaison Marlene Zeug, 808-305-0688, or via email.


  • In its policy action agenda for 2017, Hawaii Business Roundtable cites working with K-12 and higher education to strengthen career readiness as a top priority.
  • The Chamber of Commerce is hosting quarterly industry sector summits by island to gather information about industry needs that reflect regional realities. (See Sector Focus, below.)
  • C2C is aligned with the Hawaii DOE and Board of Education's 2017-2020 Strategic Plan. One of its five statewide strategic initiatives is to implement K-12 career readiness pathways.
  • Modeling successful career academies and related pathways from Hawaii DOE schools.

Sector focus

Hawaii businesses on each island are convening regular sector summits to analyze and answer the market needs of communities. This is a dynamic effort that is flexibly updated as market realities and community priorities change, and involves industry partners working hand-in-hand with schools. Early sectors on Oahu:

  • Finance & Banking: Developing financial literacy, assisting schools with credit unions and banking programs to pivot from customer service (tellers) to universal banking (broader financial services). Initial schools include Kapa‘a (Kaua‘i) and Waipahu high schools.
  • Cybersecurity: A collaborative of the CIO Council, kicked off with the P-20 Cybersecurity Summit, to build knowledge of information systems and the protocols to secure them. Includes job opportunities with the National Security Agency. Initial schools include Leilehua and Waipahu high schools. (See this Honolulu Star-Advertiser profile of the program.)
  • Carpentry: A partnership with the Hawaii Carpenters Apprenticeship Program connects the resources of this organization (curriculum, training, space) with front-of-the-line opportunities for students who complete the program. Initial schools include Kahuku, Waianae and McKinley high schools.

    • RelatedThe HCR103 Legislative Task Force Report supports students who are pursuing a certificate or degree after high school in the post-secondary CTE Building and Construction (B&C) Program, with the potential to lead students to high-skills, high-wage, meaningful careers.
  • Food Manufacturing: This partnership is focusing on three action items:
    1. Cultivating the talent pool to increase local food manufacturers who meet Food and Safety Modernization and increasing students' interest in pursuing careers in this field;
    2. Strengthening the value chain by increasing sourcing of local agriculture crops by local manufacturers to use in their products and to large wholesalers and Hawaii retailers; and 
    3. Promoting the export of local products through existing and new distributors, working together to sell to distributors as a food manufacturing group and reduce shipping export costs.
  • Health Occupations
  • Computer Science
  • Construction/Engineering

County workforce development organizations and local businesses are collaborating on their own sectors.

  • Maui: Healthcare.
  • Kauai: Food and Agriculture.
  • Hawaii Island: Food and Agriculture.

The partners

The C2C Coalition is a collective effort involving many partners to secure Hawaii's economic future. Industry is leading to ensure the effort is concentrating on those skills and aptitudes that address current and projected market needs. 

  • 2018 Externships for CTE Educators
    Building upon a 2017 pilot program, the CTE Secondary Teacher Externship Program matches teachers to businesses in his/her respective teaching areas to maintain currency in their fields and adjust curricular materials so students learn the skills and competencies that businesses are seeking now. For grades 9-12 CTE educators.


  • Connecting Industry to Classroom: The Career & Technical Education Center is working with the Hawaii DOE on a pilot with Nepris, a cloud-based platform which virtually connects classrooms with industry professionals, in Hawaii and around the world, to bring real-world relevance into the classroom. The pilot includes 175 Nepris software licenses for Career and Technical Education teachers who teach at least 50 percent CTE classes, with unlimited use through June 30, 2018. Priority will be given to neighbor island teachers due to their challenges with limited access to industry professionals. 
    • Watch Waipahu High's Academy of Engineering panel discussion on STEM careers. (You will need to sign up for a free Nepris account to view.)
    • Academy students at Pearl City High heard from local professionals on careers in Human Resources Management. View Facebook post.
  • The Hawaii Pre-Health Career Corps at the University of Hawaii is a free year-round program for high school and college students who are interested in pursuing careers in health. It provides mentoring, shadowing and research experiences. Learn more.


"From conversations with school principals to sponsoring professional development programs for teachers, we aim to help the DOE equip students with the skills and attitudes necessary to lead a productive life and earn a living, and serve as responsible and contributing members of society. We will continue to invest our financial and human resources, bringing programs, guest lecturers, and advisors to schools to assist you in your efforts."

— Edward Pei, Executive Director, Hawaii Bankers Association

"For our local construction industry, this is a valuable partnership because we want to introduce students to the craft and trade of carpentry. Students not only learn skills, but they also learn about optional careers. We believe this effort creates a pipeline of quality carpenter apprentices who will become highly-skilled professionals needed in our field." 

— Edmund C. Aczon, Executive Director, Hawaii Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Fund

“I can’t think of a greater return on investment for Hawaii. We all benefit when K-12 schools, postsecondary campuses and employers work together to create educational pathways for students into high growth, living wage jobs. We are thrilled to partner in this effort to set our students on a path to success, by graduating high school with college credit and relevant career experiences.”

— Alex Harris, Senior Program Officer for Education, Harold K.L. Castle Foundation

What these partnerships look like

This four-minute video provides a simple overview of the changing dynamic in the collaboration of industry, education and workforce development, making our approach more effective for all partners.


Career & Technical Education (CTE)

The vision of Hawai‘i's CTE program is to make sure that all CTE students fully develop their career and academic potential. Four core principles:

  • Alignment: Effective alignment between CTE and labor market needs to equip students with 21st-century skills and prepare them for in-demand occupations in high-growth industry sectors.
  • Collaboration: Strong collaboration among secondary and postsecondary institutions, employers, and industry partners to improve the quality of CTE programs.
  • Accountability: Meaningful accountability for improving academic outcomes and building technical and employability skills in CTE programs, based upon common definitions and clear metrics for performance.
  • Innovation: Increased emphasis on innovation supported by systemic reform of state policies and practices to support CTE implementation of effective practices at the local level.
Learn more on the CTE program page.

​Financial literacy

Financial literacy is the capacity, based on knowledge, skills and access, to manage financial resources effectively. To develop this capacity, individuals must have appropriate access to and understanding of financial products, services, and concepts.

Contact Information

Marlene Zeug

Phone: 808-305-0688


Strategic Plan 2017-2020

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