Identifying Promising Credentials in Hawai’i

In 2020, ESG partnered with the Promising Credentials project, an initiative of Hawai’i P–20 Partnerships for Education, Chamber of Commerce Hawai’i, Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, and Kamehameha Schools that aims to identify high-value certificates and credentials using Hawai’i labor market data and local employer insights. 

Promising Credentials in Hawai’i, a first-of-its-kind analysis for the state, looks at whether the credentials students can earn are valuable to local employers. The project identified 137 Promising Credentials that are associated with 274 in-demand, living-wage occupations throughout Hawai’i. Following the analysis and identification of these credentials, in-state partners are working together to identify strategies to ensure that students pursue opportunities that will offer them real-world opportunity. Click here to read more about the work. 

Promising Credentials in Hawai’i was an exciting opportunity to operationalize the Building Credential Currency toolkit. Within the project team, ESG served as subject matter experts and data analysts during the process to identify in-demand, high-skill, high-wage occupations through the use of real time labor market information specific to Hawai’i. This work began with an iterative process to review occupation projections with a specific eye toward industries prioritized in existing state initiatives. We reviewed the occupational data for indicators of positive growth, number of annual openings, and number of job postings. Data were compared within career clusters, industries of similar size, and typical entry level education. We identified demand trends amongst occupations and provided recommendations to the project team on the implications of decisions made. We worked together to set demand thresholds and create a credential continuum that was meaningful for current and future learners in Hawai’i. 

ESG also assisted in the employer validation strategy by providing survey and focus group protocols for the local team to administer, analyzing industry survey results, and integrating feedback on credentials identified through the labor market analysis. Next, we compared the list of associated credentials with credentials being offered locally. Finally, we assembled a cross-sector list of priority credentials and supported the team in their dissemination and public education efforts.