ClimbHI Hosts First Career Exposure Event for 600 West Hawai‘i Students

By Karen Wataru Nakaoka| Hawaiʻi Visitors & Convention Bureau
January 18, 2024

More than 60 businesses and organizations participated today at the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort.
West Hawaiʻi, Dec. 11, 2023 – Hawaiʻi workforce development nonprofit ClimbHI partnered with West Hawai‘i high schools and businesses to host the first-ever West Hawai‘i Exposure Fair on Hawai‘i Island from 8:30 a.m.- noon today at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, reimagining and transforming the hiring process.

Over 600 students attended from schools across West Hawai‘i, including Kohala High School, Konawaena High School, West Hawai‘i Explorations Academy (WHEA), Ke Kula O Ehunuikaimalino, and Honoka‘a High School.

“Exposure Fairs are more effective than typical career fairs due in part to the ‘speed-dating’ style that leads to participants uncovering more opportunities. Businesses also benefit from dedicated time with participants by sharing career paths that lead to economic self-sufficiency here in our islands,” said Julie Morikawa, President of ClimbHI. “By exposing students to high quality careers with a clear progression plan well before graduation, we are helping them understand the requirements and experience needed to begin their path to success.”

Exposure Fairs are a public-private effort designed by ClimbHI to provide students with information and connections and are followed throughout the year with additional relationship-building opportunities such ClimbHI Leadership Exploration Inspiration (LEI) and the ClimbHI Service Excellence Certificate, as well as events through ClimbHI’s Bridge portal and a ClimbHI Hiring Blitz closer to graduation. More than 60 businesses and organizations participated in the West Hawai‘i event, which allows students to rotate in 5-minute sessions.

Polynesian Adventure Tours and Roberts Hawaii provided transportation, while The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort provided space for the event.

On Dec. 1, 2023, ClimbHI hosted its first-ever O‘ahu Exposure Fair at James B. Castle High School for over 1,000 students grades 9-12 and 92 teachers. In April, ClimbHI hosted a Hiring Blitz for 74 Honoka‘a High and Intermediate School seniors, serving as a successful pilot for future events across the state. Visuals from the West Hawai‘i Exposure Fair are available here.

Visuals from the West Hawai‘i Exposure Fair are available here.

ClimbHI encourages businesses, associations and nonprofit organizations to sign up for the free ClimbHI Bridge online portal to explore opportunities such as guest speaking, career fair participation, mentorships, and much more. Organizations and schools statewide (grades kindergarten through post-secondary) can easily sign up for free to have their activity tracked. To get involved or for additional information, e-mail

About ClimbHI: Founded in 2009, the Hawai‘i-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit ClimbHI seeks to inspire students to finish high school and proceed to post-secondary education or employment by exposing them to future career paths and the steps necessary to achieve those goals. For more, visit


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