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The Hawai‘i Island Clusters of Opportunity (HICO) initiative is building a coalition of people and organizations supporting a group of visionary business leaders in a process that uses specialized analysis of economic growth trends to guide dialogue identifying synergistic clusters of potential economic opportunity. This analysis and dialogue will set the frameworks for more detailed action planning and further analysis to guide growth action plans collectively pursued by unique combinations of public and private sector partners.

Clusters of opportunity are sectors of the economy identified by growth in one or more areas:

● Value: the sector brings wealth to the region

● Jobs: the sector has experienced strong short-term or long-term employment growth

● Wages: the average wages for the sector are high-value and increasing

The HICO Initiative will convene Hawai‘i Island business leaders in a forum to jointly analyze high potential clusters of economic opportunity based upon:

Regional Cluster Data: Use public and proprietary data sources to reveal Hawai‘i Island’s unique regional economic clusters of opportunity.

Statewide Food Chain Analysis:  The HICO Forum Project plans to conduct a statewide food chain analysis which is required for Hawai‘i Island to better understand its statewide supply chain networks.

Mobilization of Economic Leadership: Use the cluster data as a tool for business leaders to engage in roundtable discussions around shared growth opportunities as well as shared problems and effective solutions. These discussions serve as a mechanism for developing and implementing industry-driven solutions that not only align private sector opportunities, but provide guidance for public and non-profit organizations engaged in workforce development, research, policymaking and industry support efforts.

The Hāmākua Institute serves as the fiscal sponsor of the HICO Initiative and supports the effort with coordination, analysis, planning and facilitation support.


Project Partners:

  • County of Hawai‘i

  • North Shore Economic Vitality Partnership

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