The Chamber of Commerce Hawaiʻi’s Young Professionals Program hosted its inaugural Cost of Living Summit on May 18 at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center.
The Chamber’s Young Professionals Program, which is composed of professionals, ages 21 to 39, invited peers, policymakers and community leaders to the conference to inspire dialogue about policy reforms to address Hawaiʻi’s cost of living crisis and workforce shortages.
The event was attended by more than 100 young professionals, executives and policy makers from the Congressional, state and county levels.
“We are thrilled that the Young Professionals Program could bring so many talented people to the table to brainstorm solutions to Hawaiʻi’s cost of living crisis,” said Dana Tokioka, president of Tradewind Group Foundation. “Throughout the day, we heard many promising conversations between lawmakers and attendees about putting their ideas into legislation. We look forward to future events and opportunities to partner with our lawmakers.”
The agenda included a keynote address by Hawaiʻi Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke as well as panel discussions on housing, childcare and early childhood education, and food and energy. An “exec connect style lunch” provided the opportunity for young professionals to network and have meaningful discussions with federal, state and county lawmakers.
“Our objective was to generate conversation and empower young professionals to be a part of the solution,” said Kim Morris, chair of the Young Professionals Program and owner of Elevate Events. “It was nice to see the community come together and collaborate on many cost-of-living issues. Although the summit is done, we don’t want the discussion to end. Our team will continue to find ways to increase young professionals’ civic engagement.”