Coalition of Hawaii Island and statewide business organizations met with Governor Ige
STRENGTHENING THE ECONOMY—A coalition of Hawaii Island and statewide business organizations met with Governor David Ige September 28 to discuss further support for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) and the astronomy industry in the state.
The chambers of commerce on Hawai‘i Island, including the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce (KKCC), Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii, worked collaboratively to draft a letter to the governor that requests safe passage for TMT, including allowing it to begin construction on Mauna Kea.
The letter was hand-delivered by representatives of many of the organizations to Gov. Ige at his Capitol office.
“I think the goal of this letter, besides soliciting action from the governor, is to voice that there are many businesses in the state that support TMT,” states Kirstin Kahaloa, KKCC’s Executive Director.
“Many businesses and chambers have showed their support in different ways, but not as a team. This collaborative effort makes a positive statement that astronomy and TMT are important,” continues Kahaloa. “It also showcases that this is not just a Hawai‘i Island concern, but one affecting the entire state and business community.”
Hawaii Island chambers reached out to other business organizations and chambers statewide to ask for their collaboration. The list of supporters included: the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, Maui Chamber of Commerce, Molokai Chamber of Commerce, Kailua Chamber of Commerce, Hawaii Island Economic Development Board, Hawaii Leeward Planning Conference, Hawaii Island REALTORS® and the Hawaii Island Contractors Association. This supportive effort represents over 2,500 businesses in the state.
The letter encourages the governor to support TMT’s commencement of permitted construction under safe passage. Topics of support included Hawai‘i Island community leadership, support for high-tech industry, economic impact, international business reputation and rule of law.
KKCC Board Chair Dale Suezaki is optimistic with the initiative.
“This coalition representing the business community is hopefully the beginning of bringing a more unified voice to business interests,” said Suezaki. “This collaborative effort is a forum to encourage discussions on how to improve the business climate in Hawai‘I, and at the same time, continue to be good stewards of our natural resources.”
The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce (KKCC) supports the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project on Hawai’i Island.
KKCC has supported TMT over the course of the project and would like to share some resources about TMT.
The Chamber believes Mauna Kea is a place for both culture and science to coexist. TMT will bring economic and educational opportunities to Hawai’i Island, with these opportunities spreading throughout the entire state.
The project operations will require engineers, administration, project management, financial, information technology and service technicians. This will bring more jobs to our community and a much-needed boost to our local economy.
Here are important facts about the TMT Project on Mauna Kea:
More detailed facts about TMT and Mauna Kea can be found here.