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State Funding Boosts Participation in Hawaii CAPS Designation Program

Friday, November 08, 2013   (0 Comments)
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NAHB Press Release

 

After years of searching for a way to increase participation in its Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS)designation courses, the Building Industry Association of Hawaii (BIA-Hawaii) recently discovered a very effective solution: the state’s Employment and Training Fund (ETF).


The ETF is a program run by the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Workforce Development Division (DLIR/WDD) that provides qualified employers a subsidy for workforce training.

"The way this funding works for the employer is that the state will pay 50% of tuition up to $250 per class,” said Barbara Nishikawa, training director of BIA-Hawaii’s Construction Training Center of the Pacific. "So if a class is $500, the state will pay $250 and the employer will pay $250. Right there is a great savings for them.”

Workers can take discounted classes in subject areas like basic office skills, business management, computer technology, language proficiency, health care, travel, construction, maintenance, food service, and others.

BIA-Hawaii discovered the ETF two years ago when it learned that DLIR/WDD was seeking training partners for the program.

Recognizing that the discounted tuition prices would be a significant help for association members interested in taking the CAPS designation courses (and others), BIA-Hawaii hastened to apply and won the bid.

Though it has taken some time to generate the level of interest they’ve experienced this year, the association has seen remarkable increase in most of its courses, especially the CAPS courses, Nishikawa said.

"For CAPS alone, we’ve held 12 classes this year. Last year, we held two,” she said. "That is huge and it’s only getting bigger.”

According to Curt Kiriu, BIA-Hawaii’s CAPS instructor and owner of CK Independent Living Builders, the timing could not be more pertinent.

Census Bureau statistics show that Hawaii’s seniors represent 14.3% of the population statewide, and the state expects that number to nearly double in 15 years.

"As the aging-in-place market grows, the need for more qualified CAPS professionals is becoming more critical,” he said.

Kiriu also attributed the rise in interest to the growing number of sandwich-generation adults—those caring for both parents and children—and an increase in young adult children moving back home to live with and care for their parents. Both have generated greater demand for CAPS professionals and their guidance on best practices and design for aging-in-place needs, he said.

Kiriu recommends that state and local HBAs interested in getting their CAPS designation programs started should first find a member who is an active and passionate CAPS designee and willing to serve as their local instructor.

From there, HBAs that are not already licensed to offer the CAPS courses will need to purchase one from NAHB. The Education License Agreement costs $200 and must be renewed annually.

The next step, he says, is to market the course vigorously, especially to professionals other than builders and contractors. Kiriu said that realtors, architects, interior designers, professional organizers, occupational and physical therapists (and others who work with individuals with physical challenges), and organizations, including state and local government offices, that work with senior citizens all have some stake and interest in helping this population live well in their own homes.

Per federal mandate, state and local governments across the country have workforce training funds and programs in place similar to Hawaii’s. Nishikawa suggests that other state and local HBAs interested in becoming training partners—and taking advantage of the discount—keep an eye out for proposal requests and inquire about them at their state labor departments.

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