IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Employer Training Needs in Hawaii

Listed author(s):

The Survey of Employer Training Needs in Hawaii was undertaken to gather information and data on the needs and preferences of employers in Hawaii regarding government assistance with training. The need for such information was created by passage of Act 68, Session Laws of Hawaii 1991, which created the Hawaii Employment and Training Fund "to assist employers and workers through innovative programs to include, but not be limited to, business-specific training, upgrade training, new occupational skills, management skills, and support services to improve the long-term employability of Hawaii's people." The survey was mailed to a stratified random sample of 5,886 establishments in the State of Hawaii. The response rate was excellent: Of the 5,886 who received the survey, 1,650 (or 28 percent) returned usable responses that are included in the analysis. A unique feature of the survey is that it obtained information on the training needs and deficiencies of seven separate occupational groups: Highly-skilled white-collar workers; sales and sales-related workers; administrative support (including clerical) workers; highly-skilled blue-collar workers; less-skilled blue-collar workers; service workers; and farming, forestry, and fishing workers. The results of the survey present a clear justification for policy along the lines of the Hawaii Employment and Training Fund: For only two occupational groups did more than one-third of employers say that their most recently hired employees were well-prepared for work. This basic finding suggests strongly that the underlying problem facing the labor market of Hawaii can be characterized as a skill shortage. Further, the results of the survey show that between 38 and 47 percent of employers (depending on occupational group) would like to see government provide some form of assistance with their formal training needs. In contrast, 15 to 23 percent of employers believe that government can do little to help with their formal training needs. In other words, about twice as many employers indicated that they would like to see government do something to assist with formal training as indicated that government could do little to help. Findings from the survey point to the importance of implementing policies that would assist two occupational groups and their employers: service workers and highly-skilled blue-collar workers. Seventy percent of employers who had job vacancies for service workers reported that they have difficulty filling those vacancies. Also, service workers stand out as having more acute skill deficiencies than any other group of workers. Finally, service workers' skill deficiencies appear to be of a kind that can be best remedied through formal training, and a relatively high percentage of employers 28 percent would like to see the training costs of their service workers subsidized. Regarding highly-skilled blue-collar workers, there is an acute labor shortage. The percentage of employers who indicate that they have difficulty filling vacancies for highly-skilled blue-collar workers is very high 68 percent and the percentage of these who report that lack of applicant training is a problem in filling skilled blue-collar vacancies 91 percent is far higher than for any other occupational group. For both service and highly-skilled blue-collar workers, the findings point to a problem of skill shortage that could be addressed through appropriate employment and training policy. There is also a somewhat weaker case for directly Employment and Training Fund resources toward two other occupational groups: sales and less-skilled blue-collar workers. The findings do not suggest a strong need to target certain counties or to vary policies from county to county. Neither do the findings suggest a strong case for targeting employers of a certain size, or for targeting employers in certain industries. Rather, the need is for targeting certain occupations in particular service and highly-skilled blue-collar occupations. The last section of the report suggests a two-pronged approach to implementing the Employment and Training Fund. The first approach would provide general training to service workers (and possibly others in need of improved general skills) by improving the linkage between workers who need to upgrade their skills and programs that could help them. The Employment Service as a strategically located information-gathering and counseling organization is the logical organization around which to integrate and link existing education and training programs, and to implement improvements in existing programs. The second approach would continue firm-specific training programs under the Aloha State Specialized Employment and Training Program (ASSET), and occupation-specific entry and upgrade training programs formerly funded by the High Demand Occupations Training program. The findings of the Survey of Employer Training Needs suggest gearing Hawaii's customized and occupation-specific training programs to the needs of service workers and highly-skilled blue-collar workers and their employers with the goal of alleviating skill shortages in these labor markets.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: This material is copyrighted. Permission is required to reproduce any or all parts.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Paper provided by W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in its series Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles with number 93-15.

in new window

Date of creation: Nov 1992
Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:93-15
Contact details of provider: Postal:
300 S. Westnedge Ave. Kalamazoo, MI 49007 USA

Phone: 1-269-343-5541
Fax: 1-269-343-7310
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Howard S. Bloom, 1990. "Back to Work: Testing Reemployment Services for Displaced Workers," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number btw, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:93-15. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.