”’Testimony of Gov. Linda Lingle before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommitte on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education on Feb. 18, 2004”’

Good morning Senator Inouye, Congressman Abercrombie, and honorable members of the committee. I am very pleased to be here to participate in this hearing for the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.

After enduring years of economic stagnation, the state of Hawaii is on the horizon of an exciting period of growth, development, and prosperity. The impending boom in the construction and housing industry, brought about as the result of the multi-billion dollar contract with the military, has catapulted government businesses, unions, educators, and the community to forge greater partnerships and collaboration on the development and execution of solid, strategic plans to meet the demands this wave of opportunity brings for all citizens in Hawaii.

The situation has compelled each sector to re-examine traditional methods of finding and training skilled workers and nurturing a workforce through job training and continued and remedial education to develop skills that will help individuals obtain gainful employment. It has surfaced issues and problems that we have been trying to deal with for many years and is now forcing all of us to think creatively and work together to build a solid platform, not only to ensure today or tomorrow

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