Applications opened today for the second cohort of “Movers and Shakas,” an initiative by local business leaders to foster remote work and community contributions in Hawaii.

The competitive program, which garnered nearly 90,000 applications for the first cohort’s 50 spots, provides selected participants with the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of Hawaii, build strong personal relationships and actively contribute to the community while continuing their full-time remote job.

The online application will remain open until July 12, 2021.

Those selected for the fall cohort will be welcomed with a free roundtrip ticket to and from Honolulu and are required to remain in Hawaii for the month of October. Cohort members will also be assigned a volunteer project with a local nonprofit or startup based on their skills and experience and will be provided with cultural orientation and group community-building activities.

Participants in the first cohort volunteered with partner organizations including the PAʻI Foundation, Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association, Native Hawaiian Chambers of Commerce, and Girl Scouts of Hawaii, among others.

“Our pilot program and inaugural cohort fellows exceeded our expectations,” said Nicole Lim, director of Movers and Shakas. “What started as a passionate initiative by Hawaii business leaders has transformed into a multidimensional program centered on building strong relationships and creating a more sustainable and resilient Hawaii.

“We are excited to take our learnings from our first cohort and build on those successes to create more meaningful experiences and greater community impact for our second cohort,” she added.

“Movers and Shakas was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to contribute my professional skills and learn about Hawaii’s unique culture, history and community,” said Nicole Chiu-Wang, a member of the first who works at Google in the Bay Area. “The program was so much more than I could have hoped for, and I left Hawaii more educated, inspired, and deeply connected to the land and people.”

Funding for Movers and Shakas was provided through donations from founding organizations including CPB Foundation, FCH Enterprises (parent company of Zippy’s), Hawaii Agricultural Foundation, Hawaii Executive Collaborative, Inkinen Executive Search, iQ 360, Island Holdings, and kWh Analytics, with support from United Airlines and the Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). This program is not funded by the CARES Act or any government funding dedicated to COVID-19 recovery.

Participants must have current legal authorization to work in the United States, a full-time job that is 100 percent remote (unless an Oahu resident) and are committed to the program requirements. Hawaii residents are also encouraged to apply. Interested applicants are encouraged to watch the online information session to hear experiences from past participants.

Program Commitment

This immersive program requires selected participants to commit 8-10 hours/week of volunteering, cultural orientation, and group activities in addition to existing personal and professional commitments. Requirements include:

  • Stay the entire 30 days (minimum) on Oahu from Oct. 2 to Oct. 31
  • Attend required events during the month of October
  • Actively participate in skill-based team volunteer projects with local organizations for 15 hours a month for two months (the second month can be remote).

About Movers and Shakas

Movers and Shakas aims to bring together purpose-driven remote workers, especially returning kamaʻāina, to come to Hawaii and actively contribute to the community. The program is rooted in three pillars: people, economy and caring for Hawaii. Its mission is to create a more innovative, resilient, and sustainable Hawaii by enabling personal relationships, professional collaborations, and contributions to the community. For more information visit www.moversandshakas.org.

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