Long-term recovery initiatives: Pivoting to technology

Posted on Jan 29, 2021 in Capitol Connection, Featured
Pivoting to a digital economy can help residents find jobs and still stay in Hawai‘i.

Pivoting to a digital economy can help residents find jobs and still stay in Hawai‘i.

The pandemic also exposed our local economy for what it is: very dependent on tourism. To make the state less vulnerable to sudden and unexpected changes, we must diversify. I will continue to promote technology-driven diversification of our economy. The pandemic has accelerated economic trends that were already underway. They include the rise in remote work and the demand for digital skills. These trends and the intervention of the pandemic show clearly where the future is. We must invest in our digital economy to be a player in that future.

The pivot to a digital economy will serve as a foundation for our economic resilience. It will help us to better weather future disruptions, no matter the makeup of our economic engine. In a digital economy, it doesn’t matter where your workstation is located. In a digital economy, Hawai‘i’s workforce can compete globally, contributing to higher wages and a higher quality of life.  More importantly, we can keep our kamaʻāina here to reverse the brain drain. Because, in a digital economy, our children won’t have to move to the mainland to secure good jobs. But to do that, we will need the right environment. Every government, business and nonprofit must embrace digital technology to thrive. A post-COVID Hawai‘i cannot be a Hawai‘i as it used to be.

 

Read more in the February Capitol Connection newsletter.

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