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Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa

Representing the 1st District of Hawaii

Labor + Employment

Representative Hanabusa is committed to growing the economy and protecting American workers.

During President Obama’s eight years in office, our economy recovered from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.  Focusing on job growth, increased investment in local industries and protecting the rights of American workers will ensure our country’s continued economic prosperity. 

Investing in transportation and infrastructure projects are a worthwhile commitment of our national resources because they provide a foundation for an improved quality of life for our citizens and much needed jobs for many Americans.  As the former chair of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit, Representative Hanabusa was at the forefront of the largest capital improvement project in Hawaii’s history.  The Honolulu rail project provides thousands of jobs, while encouraging transit oriented development along the rail line.  When complete, the Honolulu rail will improve the lives of many Honolulu residents, while providing vastly needed improvements to Oahu’s public transportation infrastructure.

Education and training programs also encourage job growth.  Many modern-day jobs require advanced degrees or special training.  Improving college affordability and the number of job training programs will help prepare the next generation of American workers.  Furthermore, partnerships with the military and private organizations will enable America’s service members transition to civilian life.  Hawaii’s economy primarily relies on tourism and military spending for jobs and economic prosperity, and continued growth and innovation in these industries is critical to ensuring economic vitality.  Representative Hanabusa will work to ensure continued federal investment in those crucial areas.  

Relatedly, the federal minimum wage has remained the same for almost ten years, but the cost of goods and services has risen consistently- especially in Hawaii.  These realities force workers to make difficult decisions that ultimately lead to a stagnating economy.  A higher minimum wage helps combat the high cost of living, improves the lives of workers and their families while growing the economy from the bottom up. 

Unions play a vital role in maintaining a healthy economy and have fought diligently to provide workers with better working conditions, wages, and benefits.  Unions continue to advocate for workers and pursue fair employment opportunities for all.  Representative Hanabusa strongly supports unions and will advocate for the protection of policies and initiatives that level the playing field, ensure a livable wage, and maintain employment protections for all Americans.