Work At Kupu

We are actively searching for highly motivated individuals to join our team here at Kupu. Here are list of current openings. If you are interested in any of these positions, click the link for the position description and how to apply. We look forward to hearing from you!

Positions Available

HYCC Program Assistant

Kupu is a 501c3 nonprofit organization which empowers youth to serve their communities through character building, service learning, and environmental stewardship. Kupu trains and equips young adults in Hawaii and throughout the Pacific Rim with work skills, life skills, and knowledge to help them become successful as individuals and as part of the greater community.  Kupu is staffed by people with a heart to better Hawaii while working as a team with a purpose of doing what is pono and doing what is best for Hawaii and its people. Kupu is a team-focused, vibrant, and synergistic organization whose culture is dynamic and seeks to make a larger impact on Hawaii.

Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps (HYCC) Program Goals

  • Provide mentorship and experiential learning opportunities for youth and young-adults (primarily ages 16-24), so that they may gain knowledge, skills and confidence to pursue higher education and/or jobs, and to positively impact their communities.
  • Collaborate with other environmental and cultural organizations to teach youth the principles of natural and cultural resource management in Hawai‘i.
  • Instill in youth a conservation ethic, so that as net generation stewards, they may help lead Hawai’i to a more sustainable future.

Position Duties/Responsibilities

  • Supports HYCC staff team –especially on the Community program team, with a wide range of administrative needs
    • Financial forms: Collect, prepare, scan/copy and submit receipts and payment requests.
    • Youth and leader documentation: Help track and administer enrollment and survey forms.
    • Data management: Enter and update participant and partner data in Salesforce database.
    • Grant report and proposal writing support: Assist program director and manager with researching for, tracking deadlines for and helping to write grant reports, and occasionally grant proposals.
    • Evaluation: Track and send reminders about participant and leader surveys and data reports. Help tabulate completed survey data and/or import into Salesforce or other system.
    • Front line communications: Help monitor and respond to phone, email and in-person inquiries. Reception/front desk support at the Kewalo Basin site if needed.
    • Supplies & gear: Assist with ordering or purchasing and storing food, educational/office supplies, tools and gear as needed.
    • Pick-up and Delivery: support program staff in West Oahu and Kewalo basin with pick-up and delivery of paperwork, supplies, tools and other items as needed on a weekly or more frequent basis. (If company vehicle is not available, mileage will be reimbursed for personal vehicle use).
    • Scheduling: Assist with set up, communication and tracking of schedules and calendars for youth cohorts, staff meetings, vehicle use, and space use.
    • Event support: Assist with planning, set up and breakdown of trainings, workshops/classes, community events and other program related events.
    • Meetings: Participate in staff and team meetings as requested.
  • Occasional field-based work, doing manual labor and possibly requiring assistance with driving youth (in van), and/or backup supervision of youth.
  • Facility management support:
  • Support facility manager and other staff with keeping program facility and storage spaces organized, and looking presentable, both in West O‘ahu and in town.
  • May help research temporary work sites or storage as needed.
  • Help coordinate moving out of and back into Kewalo “net shed” building before and after renovation.
  • Help facilities manager keep facilities stocked with needed supplies and materials.
  • Miscellaneous support to Kupu leadership and the HYCC team as requested.

Position Requirements

The program assistant must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Strong administrative skills necessary to organize, document and prioritize
  • Extremely detail-oriented and thorough, and with multi-tasking ability
  • Effective verbal and written communicator with excellent interpersonal relationship skills
  • Strong skill set in the use of Microsoft Office Word and Excel
  • Willing to drive for Kupu business—often between town and west O‘ahu—and to meet Kupu’s driver’s abstract requirement
  • Able to remain objective, positive, and flexible in a fast growing, and ever changing non-profit setting
  • Able to show good judgment and clear criminal history background check
  • Available full-time Monday through Friday, as well as occasional weekends and evenings

Desired Experience

The program assistant is preferred, but not required, to have the following:

  • Associate’s degree
  • 2 years prior experience in an office of 4 employees or more
  • Experience, knowledge of, or demonstrated interest in environmental conservation
  • Experience working in a non-profit setting
  • Familiarity with and appreciation for Hawaiian natural resources, culture, and places
  • Previous experience working or volunteering with youth, especially under-resourced teens
  • Grant report or proposal writing experience

Program assistant initially reports to the HYCC director and later to the HYCC program manager.

Compensation: Depending on Experience, with generous benefits

To Apply: Please email your cover letter and resume to: and put “HYCC Program Assistant” in the subject line. We hope to fill the position before end of June. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

HYCC Program Assistant Position Description (PDF, 580KB)

RFP for Kupu Culinary Project Developer

Seeking: Kupu Culinary Project Developer, July 2017 – December 2017

Time Period: From July to December 2017 (6 months)

Proposals Due: June 16, 2017

Submit Proposals To: Mark Canney,, 808-735-1221 x1052

Background:    Kupu is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based out of Honolulu, Hawaii.  The organization’s mission is to empower youth to serve their communities through character-building, service-learning, and environmental stewardship opportunities that encourage integrity (pono) with God (Ke Akua), self and others.  Through its various programs, Kupu provides experiential education, as well as job training, leadership, teamwork, and life skills development opportunities to help youth and young adults succeed in life and encourage them to serve their communities.

Kupu is embarking on a new social venture currently referred to as the “Kupu Culinary” initiative. Through this program, young adults on Oahu, including those from Kupu’s existing Community program, will go through entry level culinary arts training, and experience real time employment in in the food industry, as well as participate in learning about and running a small business.  This business, tentatively referred to as the “Kupu Kitchen” would be centered around a commercial kitchen, and will embrace a farm-to-table philosophy. It could involve catering services, a food truck, tent or cart, special events hosting, gardening and potential product development and/or other food service operations.   The range of associated youth employment opportunities includes food preparation, service, sales, hosting, marketing, logistics/delivery, training, farming, and eventually, management. As with all Kupu programs, our emphasis is on sustainability, so we will aim to source or grow local and/or organic produce and food stuffs when feasible and affordable. Goals of the venture also include youth empowerment, workforce development, promoting a healthy diet and lifestyle, and generating earned revenue to help support existing Kupu youth programs. The commercial kitchen and training facility will be in Kewalo Basin harbor.

Review services to be provided:  The Kupu Culinary Project Developer is responsible for researching and developing a new job training program and business venture that engages underserved young adults in learning about and preparing for jobs in the food  industry.

Scope of Work (applicant can subcontract any of the following) 

  1. Undertake market research on neighborhood restaurants, food trucks, catering businesses, local farms, and other related businesses.
  2. Develop a business plan for a youth-involved food service venture.
  3. Research best option for business and/or nonprofit incorporation.
  4. Work with Kupu leadership to identify and cultivate (through meetings) relevant partnerships and a network of professional advisors.
  5. Work with marketing and branding professionals to develop a business name, logo, signage and marketing campaign.
  6. Research and help Kupu secure business permits, licenses, and food prep/service certifications.
  7. Help design, implement, recruit for, manage and evaluate the success of a pilot culinary program–in partnership with Kupu program staff, and a chef, restaurant, and/or college– that will engage a small cohort of Kupu youth in culinary training in 2017.
  8. Develop primary menu concept (for catering and food cart/truck) and potential related product ideas for Kupu Culinary initiative for the initial 2-3 years.
  9. Help coordinate the potential transition efforts, such as moving, purchase and storage of kitchen equipment and supplies, during the physical build out of a commercial kitchen.
  10. Handle related project development logistics and administration.
  11. Support occasional related Kupu fundraising, outreach or sponsorship activities.
  12. Undertake other duties as needed


  • Provide a brief report, highlighting gap areas in types of nearby food service, menus, special event venues and potential local farm sources. Report should note potential area competing businesses/venues for the type of services Kupu aims to provide.
  • Provide a business plan focusing on locally sourced, healthy and sustainable food, which could include a food truck, catering, and/or special event management. Plan should be submitted within 45 days of hire, and should include recommendation for business type, and 5+ year revenue and expense projection.
  • Provide a contact list of potential partners and providers within three months of contract start date. The list should include chefs, restaurants, local/organic farms, schools and colleges and potential sponsors.
  • By end of contract period, obtain or submit applications for required business permits, licenses, and food prep/service certifications.
  • By end of the contract period, a completed business name, logo and written marketing plan must be approved by Kupu Director and Executives. Business name should be registered and trademarked, and related domain name (website url) secured online, along with related social media (facebook, twitter, instagram names).
  • By the end of the contract period, provide written program proposal document in MS Word and or Excel format, with: program overview and objectives; proposed structure and timeline; participant recruiting and support plan; required equipment, supplies, uniforms, permits and certifications; evaluation and quality control plan; and outline of related program materials, including:
    • training curriculum outline
    • staff training manual outline
    • participant handbook outline
    • safety manual outline

Program design and related materials developed under this Agreement will remain the sole and exclusive property of Kupu and its associated businesses.

  • At least 5 youth have enrolled in the pilot program during calendar year 2017, at least 3 of whom complete it and turn in a post-program survey.

Proposal Content: Respondent should include the following information in the Proposal

  1. Experience: Provide information related to the respondent’s experience and capability to perform the services for the Project.
  2. Methodology/Work plan: Respondent should prepare a work plan describing how all the required tasks will be completed.
  3. Fee Breakdown: The proposal should include a fee structure for completion of the project.
  4. Project Schedule: Based on the approximate start and completion dates respondent should provide a project schedule which illustrates the timing for each phase, with milestone and completion dates for the services.
  5. References: Provide a list of at least three professional references.
  6. Contact Information: Please provide names, email addresses, and phone numbers of all those who will be involved. Please note who will serve as the primary contact, and include a mailing address as well.

Submission and Selection:  Proposals for this engagement must be submitted by June 16, 2017. Selection of the consultant is tentatively set for June 23, 2017.

RFP for Kupu Culinary Project Developer (PDF, 192KB)

See attached questions and answers, which will be regularly updated with frequently asked questions until the RFP process is closed.

Q&A for Kupu Culinary Project Developer

HYCC Community, Program Manager

Position Duties

Kupu’s HYCC Community Program Manager position is full time, based in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi (Oʻahu). It includes but is not limited to the following duties:

  • Program Management
    • Collaborate with program director to develop and communicate expectations, vision and strategic planning for Community program
    • Provide effective management of Community program activities to meet strategic and financial goals
    • Build effective and collaborative relationships with internal and external program partners
    • Ensure harmonious and safe environment for program staff and participants
    • Coordinate with program director to integrate objectives and ideas for organizational growth and performance
    • Monitor, review, and evaluate program and operations for effectiveness in reaching program goals
    • Oversee existing program activities and outcomes (currently in Kewalo Basin harbor and Nanakuli, Oahu)
    • Develop and manage new programming, such as a culinary training program, a farm-to-table or food truck business for young adults, and future fee-for-service projects and partnerships
    • Develop and manage the program budgets, and review monthly expenditure reports
    • Assist with the research, writing, and preparation of grant proposals and reports, and other funding opportunities
    • Oversee data management and documentation of program related information
  • Staff Support, Development and Supervision
    • Hire, train, and supervise community program staff: currently, a facility manager, an assistant program manager, a Leeward side program coordinator, who in turn supervises team leaders, a teacher (under contract) and several social work interns. The manager and coordinators will be supported by an administrative assistant.
    • Collaborate with other program managers to identify teambuilding opportunities for the larger HYCC and Kupu staff teams
    • Provide support and guidance for program staff, and help connect them to professional development opportunities
    • Manage and document incidents or conflicts that may arise among the staff or interns of the HYCC Community team
  • Facility & Vehicle Management
    • Work closely with facility manager to ensure that the program training facility/ies and vehicles are up to code, safe, and appropriate for program use
    • Help seek out alternate facility or meeting space as new needs arise, and plan moving logistics if needed
    • Support the facility manager in staffing the training center so that it can be made available for use by the broader community during non-program hours
    • Keep the kitchen up to health code and ensure safety in and around the kitchen
  • Organizational Development
    • Work in conjunction with other Kupu managers and directors across departments and programs to help create, streamline and improve systems, policies and procedures, and to promote cohesion
    • Represent Kupu at events, in the media, statewide and nationally as opportunities arise

Position Requirements

The HYCC Community, Program Manager must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • 5-7 years of experience with effective personnel management and staff supervision
  • 5 or more years of Hawai’i based work experience, and able to provide local professional references
  • Strong administrative skills necessary to organize, document and prioritize
  • Extremely detail-oriented and thorough
  • Experience in running multiple programs or events and multi-tasking]
  • Prior experience working or volunteering with youth or young adults, and with people of diverse cultural backgrounds
  • Effective verbal and written communicator with excellent interpersonal relationship skills
  • Strong skill set in the use of Microsoft Office programs (especially Excel) & other web-based programs
  • Able to remain objective, positive, and flexible in a fast growing non-profit setting
  • Able to show good judgment and clear Criminal History Background Check
  • Able and willing to drive for Kupu business and to meet driver’s abstract requirement
  • Available full-time Monday through Friday, as well as occasional weekends and evenings

The HYCC Summer, Program Manager is preferred, but not required, to have the following:

  • Familiarity with national service program and/or youth conservation corps
  • Experience, knowledge of, or demonstrated interest in environmental conservation
  • Experience in entrepreneurial management
  • Experience working in a non-profit setting
  • Familiarity with and appreciation for Hawaiian natural resources, culture, and places
  • Previous experience working or volunteering with under-resourced or at-risk youth
  • Budgeting and grant writing experience
  • Prior restaurant or food industry work experience, and/or with culinary arts

To apply, please email a resume and cover letter to

HYCC Community Program Manager Position Description (PDF, 521KB)

Conservation VISTA

Position Duties

Kupu is seeking to hire a qualified individual for an exciting paid, volunteer opportunity in partnership with the Conservation Legacy’s Ancestral Lands program. The selected VISTA* (Volunteer In Service To America) will gain hands-on job experience in community outreach, cultural development and conservation work, as well as grow his/her professional network, and enhance career pathway opportunities in Hawai’i.

*VISTA is an AmeriCorps program similar to the Peace Corps, that promotes service domestically.


The VISTA opportunity is a full-time position (40 hours/week) that requires a one-year commitment.


The VISTA will be based at Kupu’s administrative headquarters in located at 677 Ala Moana Blvd. in Kaka’ako on the island of O’ahu.


  • Housing: The VISTA will be expected to arrange his/her own accommodations for the duration of his/her term.
  • Transportation: The VISTA will be expected to arrange his/her own transportation to and from work. If a VISTA uses his/her own personal vehicle, he/she will be eligible for mileage reimbursement up to $300 per month.
  • Office Equipment: A computer, internet access and landline, cell phone or phone stipend may be provided by Kupu, the National Park Service or Ancestral Lands for designated work hours.


This is a paid volunteer position. The VISTA will receive:

  • Stipend: A weekly living stipend of approximately $900 per month will be provided for service conducted in Hawai’i.
  • Scholarship: AmeriCorps will provide $5,775 education award upon successful completion of the term.
  • Housing & Gas: The VISTA may be eligible to apply for housing cost reimbursement of up to $400. They may also receive vehicle mileage reimbursement (see Logistics above).

Scope of Work

  •  Community Outreach: The VISTA will be tasked with building community awareness and support, which may include, but is not limited to:
    • Youth Engagement: Planning and implementing at least one Youth Play/Learn/Serve (YPLS) event on Hawai’i Island at NPS site, engaging at least 20 youth of Native Hawaiian or other native descent.
    • Community Service: Coordinating a one- to seven-day volunteer service project to experience, demonstrate and showcase conservation and community impact.
    • Market Research: Researching and exploring potential opportunities for supporting a new Ancestral Lands office within the local community.
  • Grant Writing: The VISTA may also be required to write and submit grants for funding.
  • Program Development: The VISTA will be in charge of laying the groundwork for this new position and program, which may include but is not limited to:
    • Program Scope: Developing and revising position roles and responsibilities as well as project needs, goals and evaluation systems, over the duration of the term.
    • Cultural Integration: Creating interpretation systems and protocol to ensure that NPS and Ancestral Lands’ initiatives and programs in Hawai’i are culturally sensitive and respectful of the Native Hawaiian culture and communities
    • Capacity Building: Building a volunteer program, including recruitment and outreach, retention and project coordination
  • Networking: The VISTA will be responsible for enhancing Ancestral Lands’ community relations, which includes networking with the National Park Service and other land management or native cultural government agencies and departments; non-profit organizations; and other community partners and stakeholders.


  • Travel: In addition to potential trips to the U.S. Mainland for trainings* (see below), the VISTA will also have an opportunity for inter-island travel up to a few times during the position term, to coordinate outreach and activities on Hawai’i Island (see above).
  • Professional Development: The VISTA will gain in-depth, on-the-job training, which include:
    • Mentoring and support from a Kupu manager and National Park Service staff
    • Project Management opportunities to develop job skills and enhance experience (see above)
    • Training opportunities through workshops and/or national conferences (*based on available funds), which may include:
      • AmeriCorps Pre-Service Orientation (PSO) Training: Held in Denver, CO (or via webinar), this training will provide thorough orientation of a VISTAs roles and responsibilities and impact, as well as the basic skills and information necessary in fulfilling volunteer service.
      • Society of American Indian Government Employee (SAIGE) Conference: VISTAs will be able to attend the SAIGE Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona in June 2017. The conference offers an opportunity to learn about the issues, challenges and opportunities for American Indians and Alaska Natives in the government workforce, and serves as a professional networking event.
      • Ancestral Lands Training*: Through this opportunity’s partnership with Ancestral Lands, the VISTA may have an opportunity to experience similar environmental and cultural conservation programs and projects serving Native American communities in Acoma, Navajo and Zuni, New Mexico.
  • Career Opportunities: The VISTA opportunity provides post-service education or career benefits, which include:
    • Higher Education: The VISTA may utilize the AmeriCorps education award toward further education or for student loans.
    • Non-Compete Status: Upon completion of service, the VISTA will receive non-compete status if and when applying for federal agency positions to secure job preference.
    • Networking: Through the job, the VISTA will grow professional and community contacts and network, enhancing partnership, project and other potential job opportunities.

Job Qualifications

The VISTA must be at least 18 years old and able to work in the U.S. A high school diploma or equivalency and the following qualifications are preferred:

  • Interest: Academic, occupational or extracurricular experience and/or strong interest in environmental and cultural conservation and preservation.
  • Work Ethic: Hard-working, enthusiastic, able to multi-task, meet deadlines and work in teams or independently.
  • Community Liaison: Experience with or ability to connect with local governments, organizations and other community stakeholders.
  • Cultural Understanding: Familiar with and respectful of Native Hawaiian culture and protocol specific to communities.
  • Skills: Proficient in Microsoft Office programs and ability to learn other online systems and programs, if necessary. Strong writing skills also preferred.


To apply, please email a resume and cover letter to Priority will be given to those who apply by May 24, 2017.
Conservation VISTA Position Description (PDF, 780KB)