Hoʻāhu: Building Together a Thriving Community

Kupu’s Green Job Training Center


A Future in Harmony with Land and Sea

Kupu understands that our state cannot continue to deplete our natural resources if we want to ensure a sustainable future for the generations to come. Through the conservation of our precious resources, coupled with the creation of a new paradigm centered on sustainable ideas within our community, Hawaiʻi will serve as a true steward in the Pacific. Kupu’s Green Job Training Center will create a “piko” or center in Oʻahu, supplying our islands with a first-of-its-kind facility devoted to cultivating leadership in the growing green jobs sector – one of the fastest growing sectors of Hawaiʻi’s economy.

Kupu’s goal is to unlock the potential in our youth, build community engagement, and foster positive economic development, all while helping our island state position itself as a global leader in sustainability and stewardship. Located in the developing Kakaʻako neighborhood, Kupu’s Green Job Training Center will be a scalable model of opportunity and innovation, of economic and energy self-sufficiency; a place where the community can interact, learn, and ultimately be a demonstration of aloha to the world.

Empowering Youth to Lead us Towards a More Sustainable Future

The Green Job Training Center will not only serve as a hub for Kupu’s award-winning statewide programs, but will promote the development of the next generation of stewards who will care for our environment and become responsible, thoughtful citizens with the skills and heart necessary to lead Hawaiʻi to a sustainable future. Updates and renovations will better equip the facility to house Kupu’s distinguished Community Programs, which are devoted to positively reorienting the life trajectories of Oʻahu’s disadvantaged youth. Our Community Programs engage underserved youth and young adults across the island in environmental stewardship and cultural learning, while helping them earn their diplomas and obtain job training and life skills essential for success.

The new Center will be a venue with workshop and laboratory facilities, classrooms, conference rooms, and community space.  It will feature microenterprise opportunities, allowing the young adults in our programs to discover and experience first-hand the multitude of sustainable enterprises open to them for employment, while also offering the ability to earn income. Plans include a vocational kitchen that will highlight locally sourced produce and promote educational experiences for the public on sustainable agriculture.

Creating the capacity for Kupu to broaden our program offerings and enrich young lives, the Green Job Training Center will also fulfill the crucial need for a community center where citizens can foster the incubation of new ideas and initiatives. The Center will be invaluable not only to the surrounding community, but to all of Oʻahu and the neighboring islands, as well as the many visitors that we welcome to our shores.  With a focus on civic engagement and environmental and cultural stewardship, the many educational displays and workshops to be hosted at the Center will empower all with the knowledge and passion to help shape a better Hawaiʻi.

The facility itself will be a representation of sustainability, hosting a variety of renewable technologies as well as hydroponic systems for food production. It will lead by example as a LEED Certified Green Building with net zero energy usage made possible with photovoltaic energy panels, and be at the forefront of design dedicated to shoreline and waterfront preservation. It will be a true resource for island communities and beyond, a place where we can to come together to model solutions on how to thrive while responsibly stewarding our natural resources and people for a better tomorrow.

The Kewalo Basin Net Shed

Located at the Kewalo Basin Harbor in Kakaʻako, Kupu’s Net Shed facility is the center for programs that build up youth and the surrounding community. Since 2010, Kupu has occupied the large, open-air building that was originally utilized by aku fisherman to hang their nets. Over the past several years, Kupu has utilized the facility to bring life to its members through award-winning programs, and restored life back to the area through improvements in the facilities, gardens, shower areas, and surrounding spaces. Once an area known for crime, drug-use and homelessness, the facility is now a place that breathes life back into the community by providing training and leadership opportunities to Hawaiʻi’s youth.

Kupu’s Net Shed is in dire need of renovations that will provide advanced and upgraded facilities for its youth and expand the capacity of its programs to impact our state, while also creating a place to educate the broader community about conservation and foster collaboration to implement concepts of island sustainability. Accordingly, Kupu’s Hoʻāhu Capital Campaign will transform the existing Net Shed into a 9,550 square foot Green Job Training Center, which will create a “piko” or center in Oʻahu with a first-of-its-kind facility dedicated to developing the leaders necessary for moving our islands toward sustainability. Here, Kupu will strengthen and elevate the next generation of local talent to take the helm of the new “green” industries evolving in Hawaiʻi.

The Green Job Training Center will be an open and inclusive space to benefit the public and serve as the heartbeat of environmental learning, cultural collaboration, and the sense of pono that will reflect across the Pacific to the world. Kupu’s initiative is consistent with the master plan for the waterfront being developed in conjunction with the Hawaiʻi Community Development Authority.

The Campaign

Kupu’s $5.5 million fundraising goal for the Green Jobs Training Center is becoming a reality thanks to the tremendous leadership and support of our Capital Campaign Cabinet.

Capital Campaign Cabinet

Campaign Chairman
Rich Wacker – American Savings Bank, President & CEO

Vice Chairs
Meredith Ching – Alexander & Baldwin, Senior VP of Government & Community Relations
Tim Johns – Parker Ranch Foundation Trust
Alan Oshima – Hawaiian Electric Company, President & CEO

Don Anderson – YMCA of Honolulu (retired), Past President
Micah Kāne – Hawaii Community Foundation, Chief Executive Officer
Race Randle – The Howard Hughes Corporation, Senior VP of Development
Crystal Rose – Bays, Lung, Rose & Holma, Partner
Kathleen Thurston – Thurston Pacific, Inc. (retired), Owner & President
Tyler Tokioka – Island Insurance Companies, VP of External Affairs
Eric Yeaman – First Hawaiian Bank, President & COO

Donors are an integral part of establishing this first-of-its-kind facility for our state, dedicated to helping Hawaiʻi’s young adults emerge as strong and capable leaders for Hawaiʻi’s greener future.

Appropriate recognition will be provided for contributions, including naming opportunities and recognition in media coverage of the campaign, in collateral materials, and on the Kupu website. Funds awarded will be spent judiciously. Kupu is classified as a “low-risk” non-profit because it has had no audit findings for three or more consecutive years.

If you are interested in learning more about contributing to this campaign, feel free to contact Minette Lew-McCabe, Kupu Development Manager, at (808) 735-1221 ext. 1055 or minette.lewmccabe@kupuhawaii.org.