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Big Island Business Report 2014

(page 5 of 8)

Photo: James Rubio, Courtesy of UH Hilo

Raising the Bar

Hawaii Island’s vast resources give higher-education students opportunities like nowhere else.

As Hawaii Island diversifies its economic portfolio, adding jobs from sectors such as astronomy, research and alternate energy industries, educators recognize that people from the local community may be the best ones to fill the jobs.

With that thinking in mind, the University of Hawaii at Hilo has devoted tremendous resources to enhancing education for its students by allowing them to take advantage of the vast opportunities the Island has to offer.

“We are moving toward an applied-learning experience for every student, so they will graduate with an immediate advantage: They will have work experience through internships, collaborative research projects with professors and/or community projects,” says University of Hawaii at Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney. “When they graduate, they have a degree and a resume.”

Another exciting development: Hawaii Community College – Palamanui campus has broken ground, thanks to a partnership between the UH system and Palamanui LLC. Right now, West Hawaii is the only major geographic region and population center in the state without a permanent higher-education facility, according to the University of Hawaii System News. When HCC Palamanui finishes its first phase in 2015 that will all change.

The UH Hilo Rundown

  • The UH Hilo College of Pharmacy grew from zero to 360 students in its first five years, with its first graduating class stimulating more than $50.1 million per year in economic activity in the state.
  • Each dollar spent in salary and wages for the College of Pharmacy attracts a new $3.38 from outside sources.
  • More than 400 additional jobs have been created through research at UH Hilo, with total grants and contracts over the past three years ranging from $17 million to $33 million annually.

Source: UH Hilo

The HCC - Palamanui Rundown

  • Palamanui has invested $20 million in higher-education access for West Hawaii in the design and construction of HCC – Palamanui.
  • The new campus will result in the creation of approximately 150 direct jobs and numerous indirect jobs through suppliers and subcontractors.
  • Palamanui will be the first college-affiliated community in Kona, Hawaii.

Source: Hunt Development

Spotlight On: First Hawaiian Bank

First Hawaiian Bank founded Kokua Mai, an annual employee giving campaign, in 2007, and has since achieved its recent goal of collecting and donating $10 million to charity over the course of four years. The bank foundation, along with the statewide cooperation of its employees, annually donates more than $2.5 million to 400 charities on Hawaii, Guam, and Saipan. First Hawaiian Bank currently holds the position of the largest corporate contributor to charities in Hawaii and is the first financial institution to administer a large-scale internal employee charity campaign. The Kokua Mai program ensures that all employee donations go directly to local charities. In 2013, 98 percent of bank employees statewide contributed to Kokua Mai, with 100 percent employee participation on the Island of Hawaii.


Hawaii Island: 90.1%      United States: 85.9%

Percentage of people aged 25 or older with a high-school diploma or higher (2011)


Hawaii Island: 37%, Honolulu: 38.6%, Hawaii State: 37%

Percentage of high-school seniors who plan to attend a four-year college or university (2008)

Spotlight On: WH Shipman

William and Mary Shipman purchased the ahupua’a (large subdivision of land) of Kea’au from the Lunalilo Estate in 1882 to use for farming and raising cattle. Since then, WH Shipman has expanded to become the third largest land owner on Hawaii Island. The company’s lands continue to be put to diverse and productive uses, such as being home to one of the State’s largest banana plantations. Located in East Hawaii, the Shipman Business Park provides ample opportunity for start-up businesses, as well as for long-established companies. The park actively promotes commercial and economic growth around the village of Kea’au, resulting in increased job availability and much-needed services for the local residents. The WH Shipman Business Park is the third largest industrial park in the state.


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