Monday, September 5, 2011

They're Not THE Reason To Build Honolulu Rail, but Jobs Are Worth Mentioning on this Holiday

Let’s talk jobs on Labor Day. Building Honolulu rail will produce employment for thousands, but the jobs angle isn’t what we usually bring up first when discussing the reasons to build the project.
There are even bigger and longer-lasting reasons, such as restoring the mobility we’ve lost by providing a completely traffic-free option for traveling through Oahu’s southern corridor. Rail also will be the catalyst for sustainable development for decades ahead.
Emphasize the jobs argument too much and it’ll be targeted by some rail critics whose chief motivation are their anti-union convictions, but it’s worth the aggravation anyway.
As noted in the Star-Advertiser’s editorial yesterday, 17,000 people will be working to build rail in the peak employment year. The average annual jobs count will be 10,000 once construction begins and extends through this decade.
There’s no denying that the additional employment created by the rail project will come at an opportune time for Oahu and all of Hawaii. It’s a good topic in any season – and an especially good one on the first Monday in September. Happy Labor Day!

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