TMT Supporting the Economy

//TMT Supporting the Economy

“Astronomy directly supports about 1,000 jobs in Hawai’i. TMT will employ about 140 people. The decision contains 43 special conditions to ensure that the project lives up to its environmental commitments, that the educational fund will help the underserved members of the community, that TMT will train and hire local workers, and that the native Hawaiian cultural presence at Hale Pōhaku will be enhanced.”

– Board of Land & Natural Resources, 2017 Decision & Order, page iii

TMT provides a number of economic benefits for Hawaii, including:

  • Paying $300,000 annual lease rent, which will increase incrementally to $1 million when it’s operational; 80% goes towards the stewardship of Maunakea and 20% to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
  • Creating 300 local and specialized union construction jobs during 8- to 10-year construction phase and employing 140 staff when operational
  • Expending $26 million annually in observatory operations
  • TMT is committed to hiring locally as much as possible and using local businesses for support services

The astronomy sector in Hawaii generates economic activity through its purchases from local businesses, its payment to its employees, and spending by students and visitors. According to an economic impact study released in 2014 by UHERO, the economic research organization at the University of Hawaii, the astronomy had a total impact of $167.86 million statewide in calendar year 2012. The largest impact was found to be in Hawaii County at $91.48 million. In addition to contributing to output, astronomy activities generated $52.26 million in earnings, $8.15 million in state taxes, and 1,394 jobs statewide.


Dwayne Mukai speaks about the history of Astronomy on Hawaii Island

Jacqui from Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce talks about the history of Astronomy in Hawaii