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Hawaii Island group aims to develop telescope jobs

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    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.
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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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