Maui Senators Call Federal Assistance for HC&S Workers “Welcomed News”

March 15, 2016, 3:41 AM HST · Updated October 18, 1:45 PM
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HC&S field work, final sugar harvest. Photo credit: Chris Archer.

HC&S field work, final sugar harvest at the Puʻunēnē Mill. Photo credit: Chris Archer.

State Senators from Maui were in unison calling Monday’s announcement confirming federal assistance for displaced Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company workers welcomed news.

“Federal assistance through the Trade Adjustment Assistance program is something I discussed with Senator Schatz shortly after the closure was announced. He said he would work on it and I’m glad he kept his word,” said Sen. Gil Keith-Agaran (Dist. 5 – Wailuku, Waihe‘e, Kahului). “In order to help those workers who want to remain on island, we will continue to look for ways to directly help Maui residents who are getting laid off,” he said.

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Fellow Sen. Rosalyn Baker (Dist. 6 – South and West Maui) said the “much needed federal money will have far reaching effects on the island of Maui.”  She continued saying, “My concern was not just for the displaced HC&S employees, but for Maui’s economy as well. Providing benefits to these workers and the businesses impacted by the plantation’s closure gives us greater optimism our island will get through this huge economic loss as painlessly as possible.”

Sen. J. Kalani English (Dist. 7 – Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Kaho‘olawe) also commented saying, “Having the added help they need to support their families on top of what the state provides to these workers is great news.  We plan to continue to work on pending legislation that will provide additional state benefits to HC&S workers.”

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