Proposed bills focus on future of HC&S workers

Proposed bills focus on future of HC&S workers

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Senate panel will hold a hearing Tuesday on a bill to appropriate up to $850,000 for on-the-job-training for Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. workers.

The bill comes as more than 90 HC&S employees will lose their jobs on March 7. By the end of the year, more than 600 people will be laid off.

HC&S announced earlier this year that it would be transitioning away from sugar. The company operates the last sugar plantation in the state.

Rep. Kaniela Ing says the bills are aimed at helping dislocated workers and potential employers.

"These employees have lots of experience, but in a very specific area so it's gonna take some time to train them," Ing said. "That time is gonna cost employers quite a bit of money so we want to help offset that cost."

A bill to legalize industrial hemp production as an alternate crop will also be taken up by a House committee on Tuesday.

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