New Laws Help 2,800 Maui Sugar and Mākena Resort Workers
Governor David Ige today signed two bills into law today that will give the recently displaced Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company and Mākena Resort workers the resources they need to support their families as they transition to new jobs on Maui.
Governor Ige signed House Bill 2722- Relating to Unemployment and HB 2605 Relating to Labor at the International Longshore and Wharehouse Union Hall in Wailuku.
Representative Angus McKelvey said, “This measure was truly a team effort. With the cooperation of the Maui delegation of legislators, stakeholders, and the Governor’s office we found a fiscally responsible way to match the support from the Federal Government in extending benefits and retraining opportunities to our dislocated workers both from HC&S and the Mākena Resort.”
“Now it is incumbent on us at both the State and County levels to try to create more prevailing wage jobs in agriculture and other sectors of industry. We need to find new areas of opportunity for not just for this generation but the next generation as well,” said Rep. McKelvey.
Earlier this year, about 2,800 workers on Maui were notified that they were either losing their jobs or potentially losing their jobs as the result of the closure of the state’s last sugar plantation, Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company, and the Mākena Beach and Golf Resort.
The 2,800 workers represented approximately 3.5% of the 82,550 people who were employed in Maui County in February.
HB 2722 creates a temporary program limited to Maui County, that extends unemployment benefits for workers who have lost their jobs.
The governor also signed HB 2605 which appropriates $850,000 to establish, administer and support job training and preparation activities for new jobs. The training includes basic computer literacy, job search assistance, skill assessments, vocational counseling, remedial math and English, English as a second-language, vocational training, work experience and on the job training. Support services include assistance with work tools, safety shoes and job certification fees.
“We support our hard working and dedicated residents in Maui County and hope to help prepare and train them for the future and the next chapter in their lives,” Gov. Ige said.