University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu Chancellor Maenette Benham was a featured panelist at the May 3 “West Oʻahu Means Business” breakfast at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, presented by Pacific Business News.
Benham, Hunt Companiesʻ Senior Vice President of Development, Hawaiʻi Division, Mitch Silver, Pali Momi Medical Center and Straub Medical Center CEO Art Gladstone, and Naked Cow Dairy owner Monique van der Stroom, spoke about the economic drivers required to sustain a business in West Oʻahu. They covered topics such as business-to-business opportunities, community partnerships, workforce needs, and expansion plans for their respective businesses.
Chancellor Benham outlined UH West Oʻahu signature programs such as cyber security, creative media, health sciences, and sustainable community food systems. She spoke of the importance of community partnerships and pathways.
“Collaboration with our partners is important; we can figure out what is needed in the workforce and what people are looking for,” said Benham, who spoke about UH West Oʻahu’s internship opportunities and senior practicum/project requirement. “We want to work with our area partners, including our K-12 DOE partners, to create a pipeline and develop a 21st century workforce.”
She also touched on a number of UH West Oʻahu initiatives and programs, including the Creative Media program’s participation in the production of the Hawaiian-language version of Moana, the Early College program and vertical articulation and pathways with area high schools. Benham also discussed efforts to create industry and incubators, and the potential for residential housing and expanding UH West Oʻahu’s global learning opportunities.