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Hawaii Island group aims to develop telescope jobs

  • ASSOCIATED PRESSThe University of Hawaii Board of Regents approved plans yesterday for the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea, shown here in an artist's rendering.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    The University of Hawaii Board of Regents approved plans yesterday for the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea, shown here in an artist's rendering.

HILO >> Big Island businesses and universities are working with managers of the planned Thirty Meter Telescope to develop workers for telescope-related jobs on the island.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Monday they’re hoping to establish a program that would create a pathway for island residents and students interested in technology and observatory-related jobs.

Several ideas are already in the works, including a new engineering program at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. UH-Hilo university relations director Jerry Chang says the program would develop a labor pool for projects like TMT.

Other ideas include new and enhanced Hawaii Community College programs, observatory-related internships for Hawaii students and incentives to attract new astronomy-related industry.

One potential target area would be instrument development and operational support. Currently, all contracts for these jobs go overseas.

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