comscore Top workplaces in Hawaii: Lanakila Pacific
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Top workplaces in Hawaii: Lanakila Pacific

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Lanakila Pacific

Lanakila Pacific

A Top Workplace Award recognizes positive leadership and effective employee engagement practices within a company.

Working as a team for a higher good is a common thread that keeps employees of Lanakila Pacific driven to continue strengthening the fabric of the local community.

Lanakila Pacific is a Hawaii-based nonprofit organization offering assistance programs and operating social enterprises to build independence and improve the quality of life for individuals with cognitive, physical, social or age-related challenges.

The organization was established in 1939 by Violet Kam as a rehabilitation program helping patients recover from tuberculosis. Since then, its vision has focused on empowering self-sufficiency and inspiring inclusive communities where people of all ages and abilities are empowered to live independently, find meaningful employment and thrive in spirit. The organization collectively serves and benefits more than 2,900 people annually including individuals with disabilities and seniors throughout the community.

Lanakila Pacific’s two assistance programs are Lanakila Meals on Wheels (the largest and only islandwide home delivery meal service program for seniors and individuals with disabilities) that served more than 576,000 meals to nearly 2,700 recipients last year; and Lanakila Disability Services, which provides assistance for individuals with disabilities to master basic life skills through community-based learning, as well as job training and placement services to support personal and financial independence through employment.

Lanakila Pacific’s three social enterprises support the organization’s efforts to achieve greater financial self-sufficiency. These mission-driven businesses provide an array of high-quality products and services for the general public, while creating job training and employment opportunities for adults with disabilities.

Social enterprises include Lanakila Kitchen, offering healthy breakfast and lunch meals for schools and adult care centers, baked goods sold at retailers islandwide and fresh local catering services for meetings and events; Lanakila Grounds & Custodial Services, providing professional maintenance services for commercial and government properties; and Lanakila Custom Products, offering silk screening and embroidery of T-shirts, bags, hats and more.

Lanakila Pacific is recognized as a great place to work thanks in part to its competitive compensation packages that include competitive wages; medical, dental, life, disability and vision insurance; paid vacation and sick leave; a 401(k) retirement savings plan; and benefits for qualified part-time employees. Every year, the business does a compensation study that analyzes current pay practices and determines market value for each job in order to remain competitive in the industry.

Core to its mission, Lanakila Pacific provides resources for job training and opportunities for development to create pathways for individuals and teams to strengthen skills and operate at higher levels. The entire organization centers around the mission, values and community it serves. Whether producing meals to feed kupuna or teaching job skills to adults with disabilities, all roles at Lanakila Pacific make a meaningful difference.

Lanakila Pacific believes in growth and development — not just among the participants it serves, but also among its employees who the company believes deserve the same opportunity to find and fulfill their potential. As proponents of providing resources to develop the skills employees need to function at their highest level, Lanakila Pacific has a variety of job openings in their diverse family of programs.

As an equal opportunity employer, individuals with disabilities are encouraged to join its workforce. For more information, and to apply for a career opportunity, visit

What makes Lanakila Pacific a great place to work?

Working as a team for a higher good – that’s what keeps employees of Lanakila Pacific going.

Many say they work at Lanakila Pacific because they “feel appreciated,” “like their co-workers” and receive “good benefits and holidays.” Additionally, working with program participants is “rewarding and meaningful” as employees “see individuals grow” and “participants shine.”

One employee says, “I love working for Lanakila Pacific because championing independence is a cause worthy of my time and talents.”

Lanakila Pacific
Meet Mahinakeakaualani Matthews

As a cashier and food service worker for Lanakila Kitchen at Hale Aina Dining Facility, Mahinakeakaualani Matthews’ duties include cashiering, greeting customers, food preparation, administrative tasks and more.

At times, the work can be difficult. As an essential service provider, the Lanakila Pacific team is relied upon to care for the community even amidst challenges. Team members come to work each day with a shared purpose: to feed its neighbors, empower participants and employees to achieve their personal and professional goals so they may live their best lives, and to create inclusive communities where everyone can thrive.

“It’s not the job itself, it’s the people I work with,” says Matthews, a Lanakila Pacific employee since August 2017. “I can cut onions and do food prep anywhere, but I choose to be here because I love the people I work with. They are amazing. The people I work with try to do the best they can every day. Some [co-workers] have a physical [or cognitive] disability, but they push pass that. That is inspiring, and they inspire me.

“The type of camaraderie we have here, it’s something to look forward to because of how friendly we are. My supervisors have gone above and beyond. There are people that will do their best for you. I don’t know of any other company that would be willing to do that.”

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