Keone Kealoha and fiancée Katie Trussel with their daughter, Shea Keloha.

Roots of Kaua‘i, a free Green Careers Certificate program will be launching on this summer, offering young adults, from 18 to 30 years old, a 10-week certificate program focused on environmental literacy and career development education, combined with a 100-hour internship in a local green business.

The new program is being launched by Malama Kaua‘i, a nonprofit organization known for sustainability programs such as the Kaua‘i Green Business Program, Kaua‘i School Garden Network, Kalihiwai Community Garden and the Permaculture Food Forest.

“This program is an important contribution to the development of our local sustainable economy,” Malama Kaua‘i Executive Director Keone Kealoha said. “Not only can we increase the awareness of and interest in our local green businesses, but we can help build their workforces with trained and passionate young adults with hands-on experience.”

Kaua‘i green businesses can get involved by hosting an intern for the summer, presenting about their business in class, providing informational interviews for students who want to learn more about their work or hiring program graduates.

The program aspires to prepare young adults for green career pathways and increase graduate involvement in continuing education, civic engagement, volunteerism and entrepreneurship, while also promoting environmental awareness and stimulating the local green economy.

“There is immense room for economic growth in this area on Kaua‘i and today’s young adults have a growing desire for a career that makes a positive difference in the world and in their community,” Program Manager and Career Advisor Megan Pittsley-Fox said. “Young adults need better access to quality employment options and we will be giving them the tools necessary to become empowered to create their future success in these fields.”

Kaua‘i residents who are 18 to 30 years old as of May are eligible to apply to the free program, which will provide a Green Careers Certificate, environmental literacy education, career development skills, connections to local employers, a hands-on resume-building internship and career services support.

Since the program is designed for students to explore career options and the green job market, students don’t need any prior experience or knowledge, or know what they would like to do for a career. Applications are available at

Assistance with internship program development and intern recruitment is free for all participating businesses. The program aims to build strong support systems for local businesses in the areas of organic agriculture, sustainable food production, conservation, water, energy, waste, green building and other environmental sectors.

Some of the organizations and businesses already planning to participate in the program include the National Tropical Botanical Garden, Kaua‘i Juice Co., Tasting Kaua‘i, Surfrider, Lihu‘e United Church Community Garden, The Outdoor Circle, Nani Moon Meadery, Koke‘e Resource Conservation Program, Zero Waste Kaua‘i, Kaua‘i Forest Bird Recovery Project and Ho‘ouluwehi — The Sustainable Living Institute of Kaua‘i, among others.

Visit, email or call 828-0685 x12 for more information.