The Hawai’i Language Roadmap convenes a biennial symposium for its stakeholders and other interested members from local workforce sectors and the community. The following symposia have been convened since the launch of the Roadmap document:

August 18 2014    1st Roadmap Symposium on Building a Multilingual Workforce for Hawai‘i

The HLR, with co-sponsorship from four UHM professional schools (Law, Business, Nursing, and Social Work) and the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge convened its first symposium at the State Capitol (thanks to the support of Representative Mark Nakashima).  The gathering included more than 50 key stakeholders from business, education, community organizations, and all three branches of the State government. Distinguished speakers and guests included Governor Neil Abercrombie, Representative Mark Nakashima, UH-Manoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman, Mark McGuffie, Managing Director, Enterprise Honolulu (O’ahu Economic Development Board), Sherry Menor-McNamara, CEO, Chamber of Commerce of Hawai’i, Associate Justice Sabrina McKenna (Hawai’i State Supreme Court), Dominic Inocelda, Chair, Inter-agency Council on Immigration, and Senator Suzanne Chun-Oakland. Participants addressed the steps required to develop a sustainable language-skilled workforce for the state, and directed their efforts at building cross-sector partnerships for removing the barriers to realizing this goal. A critical development from this meeting was the determination to pursue legislation to establish a Seal of Biliteracy for Hawai’i.  (The effort was subsequently redirected to the Board of Education.)

February 1 2016   2nd Roadmap Symposium: Implementing the Seal of Biliteracy

Following up on the the Hawai’i State Board of Education’s approving a policy to establish a Seal of Biliteracy for Hawai’i’s public school students in June 2015, the Roadmap convened the 2nd Roadmap Symposium on Building a Multilingual Workforce for Hawai‘i, this time with a focus on the implementation of the newly established Seal of Biliteracy.  The goal of the Symposium was to share information and discuss steps toward effective implementation of the Seal with the 100 participants, a group which included First Lady Dawn Ige, Patricia Halagao, Hawai‘i State Board of Education, UH Mānoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman, Betty Brow (Chinese Chamber of Commerce), and Phyllis Dendle (Kaiser Permanente), among the many other leaders from government, education and business, superintendents principals, and teachers, and members of the community at large. Opening remarks were delivered by Jeffrey Carroll, Ph.D., Dean, College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature (UH-Manoa).  The symposium’s two distinguished guest speakers then addressed the focal topic of the Seal of Biliteracy: Linda Egnatz (ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year 2014), who spoke on supporting World Language teachers and their students, as well as constructive parental involvement; and Michele Aoki (Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction, State of Washington), who addressed coordinating the process of implementing the Seal policy.  A panel of business professionals — Niel Mason (Outrigger OHANA Waikiki East), Dean Okimoto (Chairman Hawai’i Agricultural Foundation), and Peter Glick (Management Search & Consulting, Inc.) — from the visitor industry, agriculture, and an executive search firm, respectively, discussed the value of the Seal for a multilingual workforce.  Closing remarks for the morning session were prepared by Senator Suzanne Chun-Oakland.  After a working lunch, Michele Aoki and Linda Egnatz led concurrent discussion sessions on Seal implementation, and on promoting the Seal among students, parents, and the community, providing participants with a rich opportunity to further develop their understanding of the Seal and the implementation process. 

September 12 2017   3rd Roadmap Symposium: The Multilingual Match

On September 12, 2017, the Hawai‘i Language Roadmap, in partnership with the State Office of Language Access (OLA), convened the 3rd Roadmap Symposium on Building a Multilingual Workforce for Hawai‘i at the Hawai‘i Imin International Conference Center.  The theme of the symposium was “The Multilingual Match: Meeting the Needs of Hawaii’s Workforce through Career-based Pathways to Linguistic Proficiency”.   More than 150 Roadmap stakeholders participated in the morning program, which focused on aligning world language education and career training and counseling with the growing demand for additional language skills in the state’s workforce.  The symposium brought together workforce and educational expertise to identify best practices for educating, training, and hiring proficient bilingual employees to meet the demands of targeted workforce sectors.  The program opened with Welcoming Remarks from Dean Laura Lyons (College of LLL, UH-Manoa) and Deputy Superintendent Phyllis Unebasami (HIDOE).  Dr. Richard Brecht, co-Director (American Councils Research Center) then delivered the Keynote Address, entitled, “Building America’s Multilingual Workforce: Why? How? Who? When?“.  The morning session concluded with a panel presentation by secondary and post-secondary educators, followed by a panel of employers.  Both panels focused their remarks on the symposium theme of developing best practices for educating, training, and hiring individuals proficient in an additional language with the goal of growing the state’s multilingual workforce. 

Education Panel presenters included: Kauanoe Kamana, Ph.D., Principal, Ke Kula ʻo Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu, Lisa Kobuke, Facilitator, Freeman Scholars Program (Japan), Kapi’olani Community College,  Madeline Spring, Director, Chinese Language Flagship Program, UHM, and Danicia Honda, Recent Graduate, Chinese Language Flagship Program, UHM.

Employor Panel presenters included: Pohai Ryan, Executive Director, Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association (NaHHA), Danielle Muffatt, Human Resources Manager, Bloomingdale’s Ala Moana Center, Lena Young, Corporate Director of Operations and Human Resources, JTB Hawaii Inc., Stanley Olayan, Training and Recruiting Specialist, Mutual of Omaha-Hawai’i.

The afternoon session began with remarks by UH President and UH-Mānoa Chancellor David Lassner highlighting the diversity of languages spoken in the state, the high employer demand for employees proficient in other languages, and the range of excellent language learning opportunities offered by the university.  This was followed by workforce sector-based breakout sessions for Roadmap stakeholders to further explore best practices for bringing the language skills of graduating high school and college students to bear on employer needs for these essential workforce skills. 

November 19, 2019  Fourth Roadmap Symposium

On November 19, 2019, the Hawai‘i Language Roadmap, in partnership with the State of Hawai‘i Office of Language Access (OLA), convened the 4th Symposium on Building a Multilingual Workforce for Hawai‘i at the Hawai‘i Imin International Conference Center. The theme for the full-day event was “Languages in the Workplace: Customers, Clients and Co-workers — Respecting Hawai‘i’s multilingual heritage” and the goal was for employers to share stories about the realities of language access, model successful examples of language use in the workplace, discuss current issues in language access as well as future steps, and introduce the Global Seal of Biliteracy.  More than 50 Roadmap stakeholders participated in the day’s programming, including facilitated discussions (Elizabeth Kent,  Facilitator) on professional development possibilities and the language needs of the state. Outcomes of the full-day symposium included  identifying numerous common problem areas, developing a shared vocabulary for talking about a multilingual workforce, crafting pathways for next steps, and energetic and fruitful construction of new partnerships between workforce and educational experts. 

For access to videos of the symposium presentations and a more detailed description of the event, please click here.