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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Make me another

Is making mai tai's a manufacturing operation?

Manufacturing jobs in Hawaii dropped 2.2% this past year. The fact that manufacturing jobs dropped should be no surprise given the dire economic news lately, but in Hawaii??

I worked in manufacturing for many years, and whenever I'd go to the mainland for APICS meetings and tell people what I did I'd always get the same response - there's manufacturing in Hawaii?

People think of sun and sand when the think of Hawaii, but there's a thriving economy beyond the beaches (well, maybe not thriving right at the moment, but usually). According to an article in today's Star-Bulletin, there are 1,211 manufacturing companies employing 24,911 workers. Not huge by mainland standards, but hey, we're a small island in the middle of the Pacific with just over 1 million in population.

The majority of manufacturing is in the food industry, but surprising to me is that a significant portion is in the printing and publishing industry. I guess if you think about it that shouldn't be too big a surprise. Newspapers, magazines, and tourist publications are pretty numerous. I worked in jewelry manufacturing, food manufacturing, cosmetics manufacturing, and wood/gift products manufacturing and am a member of the Hawaii Food Manufacturing Association.

Still, I wonder if you counted the production of mai tai's as manufacturing how many manufacturing jobs you would have...

Oh, but because of some important bills in the legislature at the moment, let's not forget high tech manufacturing. Hawaii is the home of a vibrant and growing high tech community. That includes many different distinct high tech segments, but high tech manufacturing is one of them.

As Jay Fidell used to say; "Think Tech Hawaii".

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