Advancing economic diversity through community engagement and workforce development
Many residents, business, and entrepreneurs are unaware that the CEDS (Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy) is a strategy-driven plan for regional economic development and a conduit for resources that provides entrance to federal funding and technical assistance from agencies like the Economic Development Administration and the Public Works & Economic Adjustment Assistance Program.
Throughout 2021, the Economy Stream engaged over 300 community members to amplify community awareness of the CEDS. Following a series of panel discussions highlighting sectors and industry experts, multi-sector Core Teams convened to identify strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and restraints of each priority sector and to further identify objectives, strategies, and tactics that residents can take on their own, in partnership, and through legislative advocacy to elevate critical action to a more diversified and resilient economic portfolio for Hawaiʻi Island.
In 2022, Vibrant Hawaiʻi provided financial capital to pilot ideas or scale up concepts identified for each sector in the Vibrant Hawai‘i Economic Development Strategy. The initiative was designed to support quick action to demonstrate feasibility of solutions. In reciprocity for the investment, awardees committed to supporting each other and sharing their learning journey via Unrulr, an online collaboration tool. The Micro Investment opportunity was open to all Hawai’i Island residents, businesses, nonprofits, associations, and civic groups.