Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan
Goal 2: Strategic Actions
1. Develop a more diverse and resilient economy.
A more diverse and resilient economy will enable us to expand our economic base beyond our current industries. Diversified agriculture, knowledge- and innovation-based industries offer quality employment and greater diversity to our economy. However, we cannot simply replace one sector of the economy with another in the same way that the visitor industry supplanted agriculture as the state’s main economic driver. Creating greater resiliency in the economy also means buying locally produced goods and services. As an island state, we may not become totally economically self-sufficient, but there are many products that we can purchase to reduce our dependence on outside sources.
2. Support the building blocks for economic stability and sustainability.
- Provide incentives that foster sustainability-related industries, which include, but aren’t limited to renewable energy, innovation and science-based industries, and environmental technologies.
- Increase production and consumption of local foods and products, particularly agricultural products.
- Increase commercialization and technology transfer between post-secondary institutions and the business sector.
The visitor industry, military, construction and agriculture are the state’s primary creators of jobs and revenue. Ensuring that these pillars of our economy are solid is a basic component of the plan. As with new industries, we must work with mature industries to adopt sustainability principles and practices as part of their operations.
3. Increase the competitiveness of Hawai‘i’s workforce.
- Recognize and support established industries such as the visitor industry, military, construction and agriculture as strong components of the Hawai‘i economy.
- Provide incentives for industries to operate in more sustainable ways.
- Attract local and outside capital and investments in Hawai‘i’s economic activities.
- Reduce regulations and lower the cost of running a business.
A qualified workforce has become one of the key issues for business success and economic sustainability. The growth of the technology and agriculture industries will be limited by the availability of skilled labor. For this reason, workforce development is critical to economic diversification. Hawai‘i’s workers must be trained to meet not only our state’s workforce needs, but to compete in the global marketplace. We must provide training opportunities to enable our workers to improve their skills.
4. Identify, prioritize and fund infrastructure “crisis points” that need fixing.
- Invest in and improve our public education system to provide for a skilled workforce.
- Create incentives and opportunities for workforce skills upgrade training programs, including the availability of remedial education programs.
- Increase student enrollment in post-secondary educational programs.
- Adopt living wage guidelines and measurements.
Public infrastructure is key to building a strong economy, protecting our environment and a better quality of life. Great strides have been made since statehood, yet for a sustainable future, we must ensure that our public infrastructure is intact and enables our citizens, business and communities to function properly. Roads, highways, dams, bridges, harbors, airports, water supply and wastewater systems are key functions of sustainable communities. It is essential that we identify and prioritize our infrastructure needs to adequately allocate resources to maintain and improve them.
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