Honolulu among Best Cities to Look for Job
Honolulu had the fifth-best job outlook as measured by online employment advertisements during November, according to a national study.
The Conference Board’s monthly online labor demand index found there were 1.95 unemployed persons in Honolulu for every ad, or among the lowest ratios of the 52 metropolitan areas studied. Only Washington D.C., Boston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Milwaukee had lower levels of jobless-to-ad ratios.
On the other end of the spectrum were cities with several times Honolulu’s rate. This included Riverside, Ca. —where there are over 9 unemployed people for every advertised vacancy (9.83) —Miami (5.95), Sacramento (5.72), and Detroit (5.06).
The statewide rate for Hawaii was 2.71 in December, reflecting higher unemployment found on the Neighbor Islands.
Steve Case to Chair Startup America” Initiative
Steve Case, the former head of AOL who now owns significant stakes in Maui Land & Pineapple and Grove Farm, will chair the “Startup America Partnership,” a group that will work in conjunction with the White House’s seeking to encourage private sector investment in job-creating startups and small firms, accelerate research, and address barriers to success for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
The Obama Administration said the group is to be an independent and private-sector led campaign to mobilize private sector commitments. The Startup America Partnership is being launched thanks to generous funding and strategic leadership from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Case Foundation.
During his State of the Union address, Pres. Obama made a call for out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building the rest of the world. “Startup America” is a national campaign to help America achieve these goals by promoting high-growth entrepreneurship across the country with new initiatives to help encourage private sector investment in job-creating startups and small firms, accelerate research, and address barriers to success for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
University of Hawaii Lowers Summer Tuition at Most Campuses
The University of Hawaii system is lowering summer school tuition at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, University of Hawaii–West Oahu and the seven UH community colleges.
The reduction sets the 2011 summer session tuition rate for these campuses at $248 per-credit-hour, which was the summer session tuition rate in 2009 for the Hilo and West Oahu campuses. Without the reduction, the rates at Hilo and West Oahu would have been $316 per credit hour.
The rate at Hawai‘i, Honolulu, Kapiolani, Kauai, Leeward, and Windward Community Colleges and UH Maui College was set to be $283. The decrease in tuition is an incentive for Hawai‘i resident students to enroll in summer classes.
UH said the tuition reduction is for summer 2011 only. After assessing the impact of the rate change, the university will make recommendations for summer 2012. The summer session tuition rate for UH Manoa will follow the current tuition schedule and will remain at $316 per-credit-hour.
Rep. Marumoto Taking Aim at Election Signage
Rep. Barbara Marumoto wants to do away with excess political signage during campaign seasons and said she will introduce a bill to limit duplicate signs posted indiscriminately on private property.
“We don’t want to curtail the public’s freedom of speech,” said Marumoto in a news release.
“But instead address the visual blight of multiple signs for multiple candidates. In 2008, Kalanianaole Highway was an ugly corridor of numerous candidates each with a profusion of signs from Aina Koa to Hawaii Kai.”
The bill restricts property owners to one sign per street frontage for each candidate or issue. If the property has very large street frontage, then the owner may place one sign per 1,000 linear feet.
Hui For Excellence in Education to Launch
A new coalition that is positioning itself to be the go-to organizations for community and parent engagement in education issues and also serve as a resource for education policy issues will launch next week.
The Hui for Excellence in Education said it is starting up after six months of planning and will promote a child-centered and strength-based public education system.
The group said it will work to bring diverse stakeholders together to harness collective energy, share resources and identify opportunities for progressive action in education.
Currently members and participants include leaders and representatives from the State of Hawaii Department of Education, policy makers, community organizations, unions and parent groups. Its website can be found at www.HEECoalition.org.
Pro Bowl Attracts Viewers with Return to Honolulu
The return of the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl to Aloha Stadium after a one-year hiatus in Miami was a good one, with 13.4 million viewers tuning into the game broadcast on Fox.
The number was more than the 12.3 million that watched the game last year and was the most viewers since 1997.
Liquid Robotics Gets $18 million in Funding
Liquid Robotics Inc., a Silicon Valley start up that maintains its oceans operations base on the Big Island, has obtained $18 million in funding, according to a filing at the U.S. Securities and Enforcement Administration.
The funding is yet another milestone for the Sunnyvale, California-based company that is developing an unmanned maritime vehicle that can be used for a variety of work, including patrolling harbors, monitoring water quality and climate, search and rescue services and aquaculture.
The company does its engineering, production and administration work on the Mainland, but maintains an operation in Kawaihae for the testing of ideas and sea trials. In 2009 one of its satellite-guided vehicles circumnavigated the Big Island in nine days.
The company, which last year won the Wall Street Journal’s Technology Innovation award for robotics, has a design that uses the up and down motion of waves to propel its vehicle, which consists of a surface buoy that’s connected to a wing beneath the waves.
The device already is being used in the Gulf of Mexico, having been deployed last year by BP to monitor water quality, marine life and weather near the Macondo well site.