In this episode of Transform Hawaii Government's (THG) Digital Talk Story series, Executive Director Christine Sakuda speaks with Senator Sharon Moriwaki about the importance of supporting workforce development, how government was able to pivot its delivery of services during COVID-19, and why it is beneficial to support collaboration in our communities.
Senator Sharon Moriwaki was elected in 2018 to the Hawaii State Senate to represent Senate District 12, which includes Waikiki, Ala Moana, Kakaako, McCully, and Moiliili. She currently serves as chair of the Senate's Committee on Government Operations.
Senator Moriwaki shared that the pandemic showed us our leadership can do better at modernizing government operations. Before COVID-19, remote testimonies were a possibility of the future, but not a priority. However, government was able to pivot quickly to make virtual testimonies a reality given the nature of our current situation with the pandemic. Technology played a substantial role in the government's ability to adapt and Senator Moriwaki shared that it is imperative to continue nurturing and improving technology as it allows government to more quickly and effectively serve the community.
During the conversation, Senator Moriwaki expressed her passion for workforce development. She emphasized that she would like to see more certification courses offered to our current and prospective workforce to improve their skillset and enhance modernization efforts. Senator Moriwaki believes that transformation is about the people, and this action would help the state continue to grow and nurture its workforce. In addition, Senator Moriwaki shared that she believes our communities can capitalize on regional resources to provide work opportunities to our students, which would increase collaboration, grow our economy, and further contribute to workforce development.
Looking forward, Senator Moriwaki echoed the thoughts of our previous Digital Talk Story guest, Senator Glenn Wakai, stating that the improvement of broadband infrastructure is critical and a priority for government. Broadband is the foundation that supports the continued development of a "digital highway" as we look to the future of hybrid work and less congestion of our physical highways. This priority will help our community in the future as our reliance on and usage of technology increases.
THG extends its appreciation to Senator Moriwaki for taking time from her busy schedule to join us and share her thoughts on government modernization.
Watch Episode 7 of the Digital Talk Story series here.