Hawaii officials want to form a new organization to get more local businesses in on lucrative defense contracts — and to find ways to use military money to grow other sectors of the state’s economy.
Defense spending in Hawaii — about $5 billion annually in payroll and $2 billion-plus in contracts — has been “an incredibly important stabilizing force” in the state with an economy otherwise wracked by COVID-19.
The Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii and the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce fully support the U.S. military’s training mission at Pohakuloa Training Area.
The largest was a $245 million contract shared by six companies, including four from Hawaii, for Navy construction projects over the next five years.
Hilo Hattie has entered into a contract with the United States Air Force to distribute 175,000 face masks over the next year for use across the United States, “The Store of Hawaii” announced this week.
The $740.5 billion military spending bill that cleared the Senate Armed Services Committee this week includes more than $300 million for several construction projects at Army and Navy bases in Hawaii.
The Military In Hawaii
An Economic and Community Partnership
In addition to its strategic importance, Hawaii’s relationship with the military is a vital part of the state’s economy. From jobs for civilians and contracts for local businesses, to spending by active duty military personnel deployed in Hawaii and their families, the defense industry is the second largest industry segment in Hawaii.
Hawaii Defense Economy
A Community and Business Resource
The Hawaii Defense Economy project is undertaken by the State of Hawaii, through the Department of Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism – Business Support Branch and is funded by the DoD – Office of Economic Adjustment. This project has been tasked with analyzing the impact of DoD contracts and grants awarded in Hawaii. It does not include other types of defense spending such as payroll of military personnel.