Press release

Hawai‘i Launches Movers & Shakas Temporary Resident Program

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As winter approaches, the State of Hawai‘i announced Movers & Shakas, a new remote work program aimed at individuals – former Hawai‘i residents and those from out-of-state who want to work remotely from the islands. The program incorporates a unique “give and get” approach, seeking those who are passionate about the values of Hawai‘i and who have the skills and willingness to contribute to the local community.

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Hawai‘i launches Movers And Shakas Temporary Resident Program

Hawai‘i launches Movers And Shakas Temporary Resident Program

Remote workers interested in joining the first cohort of the program are encouraged to fill out an online application by December 15, 2020; 50 applicants who meet the qualifications will be chosen for the first cohort and will receive a free round-trip ticket to O‘ahu. Subsequent applicants will be accepted to the program on a rolling basis. Hawai‘i currently has the lowest rate per capita of COVID infections in the country, also making it one of the safest places to live and work.

The program was launched through a partnership with the Hawai‘i state government, business leaders, alumni associations at schools and colleges, and founding organizations including the Central Pacific Bank Foundation, Hawai‘i Executive Collaborative, Island Holdings, Inkinen, and FCH Enterprises (parent company of Zippy’s restaurants). These partners developed Movers & Shakas to help provide some relief to Hawai‘i’s tourism industry, a main economic driver for the state that has been impacted due to the pandemic, while also creating a way to increase knowledge resources by connecting local and out-of-state professionals.

“We wanted to help fill the gap from the decrease we’ve experienced in the 7-day visitors to our state,” said Jason Higa, CEO of FCH Enterprises, parent company of Zippy’s, and leader who has spearheaded the program. “Now that many people have the choice to work remotely, there’s an opportunity for former local residents to return home and for out-of-state individuals and families to live and work from Hawai‘i for a longer period of time. We believe this program will attract many former Hawai‘i residents and professionals seeking a safe, warm environment to continue living their normal lives while contributing to the Hawai‘i community.”

About Movers & Shakas

The program will first launch on O‘ahu, with the first 50 qualified applicants receiving a free round-trip to the island. Future applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis and will eventually expand to neighboring islands at a later date. Program participants will receive access to promotions, special program benefits and opportunities to interact with the local community. Participants will also be asked to contribute their skill sets and knowledge to the community and businesses during their time in Hawai‘i.

“Give” Program Elements

Applicants to the program take a “Pledge to Our Keiki”, making a commitment to respect the culture and natural resources of Hawai‘i during their stay. The program also includes a skill match component, wherein Movers & Shakas participants commit several hours a week to a Hawai‘i nonprofit. The participants will apply their expertise to strengthen local communities.

“Get” Program Elements

In return for their volunteer work, Movers & Shakas program participants receive exclusive discounts on month-to-month accommodations, flights, restaurants, attractions and other services they need while living in Hawai‘i. Participants in the program also have access to networking opportunities with Hawai‘i business professionals and with other Movers & Shakas program participants.

Richard Matsui was both born and raised in Hawai‘i but lived away from the islands since graduating from high school. “The pandemic provided an unexpected opportunity for me to leave the San Francisco Bay Area and work remotely from Hawaii,” said Matsui, CEO and founder of kWh analytics, a data analytics and financial services firm for the solar energy industry. “I’m excited by the prospect of Movers & Shakas bringing even more people like me who can help to diversify our local economy.”

“As part of a Hawaii-based non-profit that is focused on getting people working, I am very excited about this program. It encourages people to come back to Hawaiʻi, not as spectators but actively supporting the growth of values rooted in the aloha spirit and making our state and communities stronger,” said John Leong, chief executive officer of KUPU. “By engaging with local non-profits, individuals gain a unique understanding of Hawaiʻi’s values, while also adding their skills to positively impact people. Hawaiʻi is a place where those committed to sharing aloha and who have a vision for a better tomorrow can find fertile ground to plant seeds of hope that will make healthier communities and inspire our world in the process.”

Other supporting members include Alohilani Resort, Outrigger Hotels and Prince Hotels.

For more information about the Movers & Shakas program, visit