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Thursday, April 9, 2020
Governor Ige creates new position for old boy – Oshima responsible for economic, community recovery or something
By News Release @ 7:40 PM :: 1967 Views :: Ethics, Economy, COVID-19

GOVERNOR IGE APPOINTS ALAN M. OSHIMA TO LEAD HAWAII’S ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY RECOVERY, RESILIENCY EFFORTS

News Release from Office of the Governor April 9, 2020

HONOLULU — Gov. David Y. Ige, joined by Senate President Ron Kouchi and House Speaker Scott Saiki, issued a proclamation today announcing the appointment of veteran business executive and community leader Alan M. Oshima to lead Hawaiʻi’s efforts to develop and implement a plan for economic and community stabilization, recovery and resiliency.

“The health and safety of Hawaiʻi’s people will always remain my overriding priority. However, while working to protect our residents we also need to focus on stabilizing our economy. With the staggering increase in unemployment and the number of businesses shutting their doors, we need to take action now so we can provide for the basic needs of our citizens – food, shelter and healthcare – and plan for what the future holds,” said Gov. Ige. “The only way we can address these issues and rise out of this crisis, is to work together – this includes government, the private sector, non-profits and the community-at-large.”

Oshima was selected to lead the governor’s efforts based on his experience, long-standing reputation, business acumen and dedication to leadership and volunteerism with community organizations. In February, Oshima became the senior executive advisor of Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. (HECO) after serving five years as its president and chief executive officer. While at HECO, he is credited with accelerating a company-wide transformation initiative that reorganized its focus and built an employee culture that readily adapts to change.

Oshima will lead a collaborative effort to develop and implement the Hawaiʻi Economic and Community Recovery & Resiliency Plan that will include a concurrent three-part strategy to address both the economic and community impacts of COVID-19:

Part I:  Stabilization. Identify and address critical economic and community impacts, including the allocation of the federal CARES act funds and state and local funding to mitigate the collapse of key economic sectors. Also, provide direct economic relief to individuals to avoid homelessness, hunger and sickness.

Part II:  Recovery. Identify and support economic and community development activities which provide recovery, job growth and capital investment in the economy.

Part III: Resiliency. Re-evaluate and restructure Hawaiʻi’s economy to meet the new normal and desired future for Hawaiʻi. Identify and invest in systemic changes in the economy and society which furthers economic diversification, environmental preservation, sustainability and Hawaiʻi’s values and way of life.

“This is a monumental role that the governor has established, and it will be critical in helping Hawaiʻi through this crisis and shaping the direction of our state for generations to come,” said Oshima. “We need to move quickly to establish a collaborative approach that brings together all stakeholders and maximizes Hawaiʻi’s efficiency and response. These are critical times and we can’t afford to be duplicating efforts.”

Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi said, “While we are sheltering in place to reduce community spread of COVID-19, the task force’s primary concern is to ensure that all federal monies are used to the fullest extent possible to stabilize our current economic free-fall.”  Senate President Kouchi added, “It is hoped that this task force will be able to advance and expand upon the partnerships that were aborted when the pandemic struck.”

“This pandemic has reaffirmed what we have known for a while — that our economy must be diversified and cannot be over-reliant on one or two major industries,” said House Speaker Scott K. Saiki. “This task force must help modernize our economy. The future of our families and state relies upon a sound and resilient economy.”

As part of the plans design, it will utilize the economic and community sectors identified in the Hawaiʻi 2050 Sustainability Plan:

  • Economy (Including Healthcare, Infrastructure, Financial Services, Hospitality, Construction, Innovation & Technology, Government and Military)
  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Community and Social Well-being (Including NGOs, social services, culture and the arts, and faith-based)

To address community needs and expedite the decision-making process, input from key stakeholders and sectors will be essential. Each sector will have a state government appointed liaison to provide support, outreach and connect ideas and needs with available government and community resources. They will also be asked to identify and leverage tools, resources, and assets available to achieve desired outcomes, including the roles and responsibilities of government, business, nonprofits, labor organizations and individuals.

“There are so many individuals, groups and organizations in our community that want to help and many have already started looking for solutions. We want to make sure that they all are engaged and that our efforts are streamlined to collectively identify issues, needs and solutions; facilitate cross-sector planning with government, business, non-profit and labor organizations; and collect reliable data and information for analysis that will be used as the basis for decision making,” added Oshima.

One of the first areas for collaboration is the federal CARES Act and other relief programs. It is anticipated the Hawaiʻi will receive $4.0 billion which need to be used by the end of the year. If the funds are leveraged with state and local government (e.g., infrastructure spending, bond financing, tax incentives), private (e.g., targeted industries and investments), philanthropic (e.g., direct contributions) and consumer initiatives, it will allow for greater utilization and provide for maximum impact to the stabilization and recovery efforts.

Gov. Ige concluded, “There is no time for personal agendas and self-interest – Hawaiʻi is one community, one family. We need to work together. This is the only way we are going to survive.”

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