Department of Defense Awards $3.2 Million to DBEDT

Posted on Oct 11, 2023 in News

for Immediate Release: October 11, 2023

HONOLULU—The State of Hawaii Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) has been awarded a $3.2 million dollar grant from the Department of Defense, Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation.

Through the grant funding, DBEDT will establish a Military and Community Affairs Office which will focus on effective collaboration and transparency between the State of Hawaii, county governments, the community and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

Unlike most major metropolitan areas within the United States, Honolulu is home to every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and the largest geographic Combatant Commander: U.S. IndoPacific Command. Neighbor islands also partner with DoD – from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai to Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaii Island.

“I supported and welcome this grant to the State of Hawaii from our U.S. Department of Defense,” said U.S. Representative Ed Case, a member of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations and its Subcommittee on Defense. “As one of several positive recent actions by our military, funding to establish the Military and Community Affairs Office at DBEDT and increased assistance to our local schools demonstrates our defense community’s commitment to a full partnership with our state on shared interests and challenges. I believe the state will put this assistance to good use in addressing key joint issues like the closure of Red Hill and the next generations of military installation and training needs.”

The presence of such a large military contingent creates significant economic, social, and environmental interdependencies that impact the state’s economy, natural resources, and infrastructure. The efforts of the Military and Community Affairs Office will be directed towards effective engagement between the State of Hawaii and DoD to work collaboratively in building and maintaining initiatives that prioritize both national defense as well as the vital interests of state and county governments.

DBEDT Director James Kunane Tokioka said, “Hawaii’s defense economy provides more than 20,000 civilian jobs and 31,000 contractor jobs to our community. Military-related spending makes the defense sector the second-largest of our state’s economy and accounts for 8.3% of Hawaii’s GDP. We understand that the military presence brings challenges that require comprehensive study and analysis. Establishing the Military and Community Affairs Office will allow both the state and DoD to identify ways to work together to enrich our local communities, including the military servicemembers who call Hawaii home.”

About the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT)
DBEDT is Hawaii’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation information, and foreign trade advantages. DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawaii economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawaii’s citizens. Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promotes innovation-sector job growth.

About the Business Development and Support Division (BDSD)
The Business Development and Support Division of DBEDT promotes industry development and economic diversification by supporting existing and emerging industries in Hawaii and by attracting new investment and businesses to the state. Learn more at:

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Laci Goshi
Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism
(808) 518-5480

John Greene
Defense Industry Specialist, Business Development and Support Division
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
(808) 587-2773

Dennis Ling
Business Development and Support Division Administrator
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism