UH construction plan
could mean 1,000 new jobs
The University of Hawaii expects to spend nearly $59 million on repair and maintenance projects during the 2003-2004 fiscal year -- an infusion into the state's economy that could mean jobs for as many as 1,000 construction workers.
The funds account for 57 projects slated across the system's 10 campuses.
Carl Bonham, an economist at UH, said the construction could also mean that the demand for additional workers "would put upward pressure on construction sector wages and create an acute need for programs to train new workers."
Twenty-six of the projects will be on the system's flagship campus in Manoa and 13 will be on UH-Hilo.
Construction at the community colleges include resurfacing roads, repairing fire alarms and upgrading electrical systems.
UH Board of Regents Chairwoman Patricia Lee said the board is "especially thankful for the fact that many of these projects will help to address the huge backlog of repair and maintenance needs currently facing the entire university."
University officials say contracts for all of the projects would be awarded by the middle of 2004.