Pictured with me, from left, is Markus Staib, president of Milici Valenti Ng Pack; Sharon Ziegler-Chong, UH Hilo Office of Research; Michael Chang, deputy program manager of Hawai’i Energy and James Hardway, executive director of the Workforce Development Council, Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
I was invited to speak at the 20th Annual Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center on Tuesday, July 31. The focus of the conference was growing green jobs in Hawaiʻi.
The Hawaiʻi Green Jobs initiative and the Hawaiʻi Clean Energy Initiative attract investments from companies around the world, which benefit local workers, companies and entrepreneurs across the state. Of course, this also provides a critical boost to Hawaiʻi’s economy.
In 2011, clean energy investments doubled to about $1.2 billion, and right now it looks like 2012 will be another year of growth. Currently, Hawaiʻi ranks third in the nation in clean energy job growth.
My speech focused on institutional preparation for a future economy consisting of green jobs and how we are preparing future generations to compete in a green job market.
Academic programs currently in place at UH include the agriculture programs at UH Mānoa, Hilo and the community colleges that are examining biofuels and food sustainability and Mānoa’s architecture program with its emphasis in green design.
We had an excellent discussion. The opportunity is here and we are educating and researching around this vision.