I will work hard to help expand the job market for local residents seeking employment. It’s too common to see our local college graduates leave Hawai’i for the mainland in search good paying jobs. I believe that Hawai’i is the future of such industries such as solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable energy platforms and thus these are industries we should be attracting to the islands. Kalihi-Palama has plenty of opportunity to become a hub for such industries whether it be the manufacturing/assembling or a base of operations. There are a good number of buildings that can be refurbished in order to meet the needs of these new and growing industries.
Another focus for me is to work to design incentives to bring more technology based jobs for our local college graduates. This way we can have more of our graduates remaining here at home making a good wage and raise a family, as opposed to going to places such as California to pursue the same career fields. We invest a lot of time and money in our keiki from pre-school through high school and college so it only makes sense that we fight to keep all of their talent and potential here to benefit our communities.
Our construction industry is thriving right now and I would like to work with local schools, Dept. of Education, HSTA and other local unions to promote high school apprenticeship programs. Not every student will be successful from starring at a book and studying for exams. Many students need a more hands on style education to help them reveal their talents and become successful in different industries. We must be realistic and say college is not for everyone and so we need to help guide our students to different career paths in order to expand their horizons.
In closing, our ohana shouldn’t have to leave us just to find proper employment. I will sit down with educators and local union leaders to develop strategies for expanding educational programs that will lead to more successful students and more opportunities for prosperity.