Kauai News

Updated Kaua‘i Economic Development Plan Released

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A roadmap for the county’s future economic development has been updated.

The county Office of Economic Development, in partnership with the Kaua‘i Economic Development Board, announced in a news release Thursday, March 24, the release of the Kaua‘i Comprehensive Economic Development Strategic Plan for 2022-26.

The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategic Plan is a strategy-driven approach for regional economic planning, serving to engage community leaders, include the involvement of the private sector and establish a strategic blueprint for regional collaboration, according to the release. The plan was last updated for 2016-20.

“This plan will act as the roadmap and eventual framework for assessing and achieving progress toward the economic goals that the county’s stakeholders have collectively outlined,” said Kaua‘i Economic Development Board Director Jackie Kaina in the news release. “Over the next five years, the Kaua‘i County CEDS Steering Committee, industry clusters and the Kaua‘i Economic Development Board will monitor the progress and continue building the partnerships necessary to achieve the CEDS goals.”


During summer 2021, the plan’s steering committee took on the theme “Kupa‘a Kaua‘i – Kaua‘i Forward!” – aligning with the county’s pandemic recovery plan to come together as a community, working collaboratively to rebuild, restart and re-energize the future of the island, the release said. The CEDS update brought together a broad spectrum of community leaders from business, government, education, nonprofits, technology and agriculture to exchange ideas and discuss common challenges and opportunities for making Kaua‘i County a better place.

“We extend our thanks and appreciation to our Office of Economic Development and partner, the Kaua‘i Economic Development Board, Jackie Kaina, as well as the focus group stakeholders for helping us to navigate through this process,” said Mayor Derek Kawakami in the news release. “Additionally, we want to thank the many participants who gave their time and effort to develop this plan which will help guide us through the next four years.”

The update maintains the focus of previous plans on diversifying Kaua‘i’s economy by focusing on industry clusters – food and agriculture, renewable energy sustainable technologies and practices, science and technology, health and wellness and arts and culture. This year, visitor industry management and natural resource preservation were added as focus areas.


The process of updating the plan enabled networking opportunities among community members, during which they were able to discuss and debate important issues, according to the news release. During the development process, a total of 25 virtual meetings were conducted, focusing on topics such as economic growth, tourism management, agricultural practices, infrastructure improvements, leveraging technology, strengthening health care, transportation alternatives and climate change.

“In the spirit of ‘Kupa‘a Kaua‘i – Kaua‘i Forward!,’ this document intends to serve as a tool for better communication and collaboration toward the work of building a more thriving, equitable and sustainable regional economy, which is something we all want,” said Office of Economic Development Director Nalani Brun in the release. “Economic diversification clearly takes a village, and I want to thank our community members for helping to make that happen for all of us.”

To view a copy of the plan, click here and then click on the “Kaua‘i Economic Development Plan” tab, or visit the Kaua‘i Economic Development Board website.


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