In Dave Takaki's forum post Action Committee for Threatened Hi Tech Tax Credits John
raised an excellent point, "But maybe the issue is: Hawaii has insufficient tech talent so we are simply throwing money at the wrong problem." This is definitely a serious issue for a number of reasons.
1) Hawaii's top graduates often leave to take jobs on the mainland. There is a perception that there are no good tech jobs in Hawaii. I once had a conversation with a student at UH lamenting the fact he had to leave the state to find a good job doing Flex/Flash work on the mainland. At the time I knew four local companies desperate for Flex developers, Ikayzo being one of them! He never thought to look locally.
2) Its surprisingly difficult to get mainland talent to relocate to Hawaii. There are exceptions, but I've had several candidates flirt with the idea for months, waste inordinate amounts of my time and chicken out at the last minute. This is especially true for people with families.
3) Its hard to retain talent once they are here if they have no connection to the island. The exceptions are usually young, unattached people with a healthy sense of adventure and those with a significant other in the state. My attorney has advised me against asking candidates "Are you a young unattached person with a healthy sense of adventure?" :-)
A few years ago Sandi
and I joked that HTDC should start a dating agency for techies that relocate. For some reason she never ended up taking the idea to her boss...
Hau’oli Lanui! I hope everyone is having a fantastic holiday season!
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