Economic Diversity and Job Creation
Today, the need for economic diversity is more apparent than ever.
Covid 19 has brought unimaginable challenges but opportunities as well. Never before has the need for systemic change been more obvious. Our almost total reliance on tourism requires a solution.
We must continue to provide financial support for the small local businesses that rely on tourism including restaurants, companies that provide activities from whale watching to surfing lessons, until it's safe to fully re-open. In the relative short term, employment by hotels must be maintained as best we are able.
Our almost total reliance on tourism for both employment and funding for County operations has exposed our weak point. We must diversify into areas like clean energy that will provide jobs for solar and wind projects that will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels imported from the mainland.
My Climate Action and Resiliency Committee is focused on making this a priority for Maui County. Not only must we prepare for the changes that come with shoreline erosion and rising sea levels but also invest in the jobs that will address those challenges.
Construction jobs that not only support new clean energy programs can also focus on affordable housing and address this important need of the people that live here now. Why should we continue to build commercial and retail projects that only increase our reliance on an obsolete business model?
investment in academic and job skill training in the healthcare industry could provide lasting results and avoid the situation where we imported almost 200 healthcare workers to address possible current needs. As the national population ages, hundreds of jobs in elderly care are possible.
The opportunities for a bright new future for Maui nui are only limited by our vision, will, and ability of Maui County government to create real change. I'm the South Maui District 11 residency Council Member but all Council Members vote on issues that affect all of Maui County, not just their own district.
The current proposed Charter Amendments would enable the Council to make better progress in creating a future that benefits all islands in our County. They would help Council Committees like the Economic Development and Budget Committee participate in the allocation of Cares Act funds which currently, we are unable to do.