Coalition Lead Applicant: County of Hawai'i
Project Title: Building Hawai'i Island’s Agriculture Cluster
Region (applicant-defined): Hawai’i Island
Cluster Sector(s): Agriculture
Link to Grant Site:
The Back Better Regional Challenge (PDF) is the marquee of EDA’s American Rescue Plan programs that aims to boost economic recovery from the pandemic and rebuild American communities, including those grappling with decades of disinvestment. The Challenge provides transformational investments to develop and strengthen regional industry clusters across the country, all while embracing equitable economic growth, creating good-paying jobs, and enhancing U.S. global competitiveness.
The Hawai'i Island coalition, led by Hawai'i County, seeks to create a robust agricultural economy that corrects past systemic barriers to growth that are unique to an island market, while also helping the island respond to economic downturns due to the pandemic and natural disasters. The project hopes to divert 20 percent of Hawai'i's food import market to local producers, creating thousands of new jobs and stimulating the specialty export market. If provided implementation funding, the coalition proposes to support the cluster's growth by building an industrial park, improving knowledge transfer, and increasing food processing/production capacity to create a robust agricultural economy, reduce food imports and increase local GDP growth.