Governor Forms Molokai Action Team
Group to focus on workforce, economy.
Governor Linda Lingle designated a Molokai Action Team (MAT) to address the effects of Molokai Ranch’s recent decision to close operations. MAT will prioritize support efforts and identify best practices to assist employees, the Maunaloa community, and the island of Molokai.
The Ranch, also known as Molokai Properties Limited, announced on March 24 its decision to close its ranching operations, Molokai Lodge, Molokai Beach Village, Kaluakoi Golf course, the Maunaloa gas station and theater. Approximately 120 employees and their families are affected by the closure and have received 60-day notification of the impending shutdown.
The Action Team will be taking feedback from Molokai Ranch workers and the greater Molokai community on their needs and concerns. Governor Lingle has also asked MAT members to focus on longer-term job creation and rebuilding Molokai’s workforce base.
The 14 individuals on MAT represent state, county, business and community organizations. Governor Lingle has asked Abbey Mayer, interim director of the State Office of Planning, to chair the team. Other team members include: Senator J. Kalani English, Representative Mele Carroll, Colette Machado (Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee), Jo-ann Ridao (Office of the Mayor), Councilmember Danny Mateo, Henry Oliva (Department of Human Services deputy director), Ray Foster (Monsanto General Manager), Stacy Crivello (Molokai Enterprise Community president), Barbara Kalipi (Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center Manager), Kammy Purdy (Ho‘olehua Homestead Association president), Barbara Haliniak (Molokai Chamber of Commerce president), Janice Kalanihuia (Governor’s Molokai Community Advisory Council chair), and Jimmy Duvauchelle (Maunaloa ‘Ohana Community Association president).
The first meeting of the Molokai Action Team is scheduled for Monday, April 7, 10 a.m. at the DHHL/OHA Conference Room at Kulana O‘iwi.
The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and the County of Maui will host a job fair in the community on Saturday, April 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kulana O‘iwi Halau. The event will include employers from Molokai and Maui, as well as social service agencies.