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Abercrombie selects budget director, labor team


Governor-Elect Neil Abercrombie has named Kalbert Young as the Budget and Finance Director; and Sen. Dwight Takamine and Audrey Hidano as the team heading up the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations as its director and deputy director, respectively.

This is Abercrombie’s second announcement regarding Cabinet positions in his administration.

“They are a part of our growing team dedicated to our goal of rebuilding our economy to create good-paying jobs during these difficult times while investing in the people of Hawaii,” Abercrombie said. “They are key leaders who will play a pivotal role in building a sustainable economy and strong communities for a New Day in Hawaii.”

The selections come after a process that began with every applicant submitting his or her resume through the transition website. The process, led by Abercrombie Transition Director Bill Kaneko, includes input from the community and several rounds of interviews.

KALBERT YOUNG (DB&F) has been the finance director of Maui County since 2004. He previously worked at the Kapalua Land Co., the state Legislature, and at Kamehameha Schools, where he served in the government relations, budget and financial planning, and internal audit divisions.

Young, 41, was Maui County’s first small-business advocate, working in the Office of Economic Development, where he led the effort to establish the Maui County Business Resource Center & County Store at the Maui Mall in Kahului.

He attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa, earning a Bachelor’s degree in American history and a Master’s degree of business administration.

DWIGHT TAKAMINE (DLIR Director) has served in the state Legislature for 26 years, representing Hilo, Honokaa and Waimea.

Takamine was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 1984 and later elected to the State Senate in 2008. He served as chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, House Labor and Public Employment Committee, House Finance Committee and House Water and Land Committee.

Takamine, 57, spent 30 years practicing law in Hawaii with a general focus on labor-related cases.

Takamine graduated from Honokaa High School, UH-Manoa and William S. Richardson School of Law.

AUDREY HIDANO (DLIR Deputy) has worked in Hawaii’s construction and business industry for almost 40 years. Hidano, 65, co-founded two construction companies, including the Hidano Construction, Inc. in 1974 that specializes in residential and light commercial construction and Rim-Pac, Inc. in 1993 that specializes in solid surface work.

Hidano previously held the position as the deputy director of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations from 2000 to 2002.

Hidano was also the president of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii from 1999 to 2000. She is a graduate of McKinley High School and Honolulu Business College.

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One Response to “Abercrombie selects budget director, labor team”

  1. Bill Eger says:

    Many close friends of the governor-elect have concern that he has been in Congress so long that he may be out of touch with the new leadership of our state. Because we are in such financial difficulties, it would be encouraging if the new group of leaders in agriculture, business, education and the financial community could be part of the ‘kitchen cabinet’ that every leader needs.

    Those of us who voted for Neil Abercrombie want to see a broad basis in his selections of department heads and other staff. The University of Hawai`i has parted with its vital obligations as a land grant school that has strong responsibility for job growth and economic health, particularly in “agriculture and mechanics” — the key words in many of the 100+ land grant schools such as Texas A&M.

    That may be the area where the governor-elect could be most effective as he must be aware of the deep differences in UH and other land-grant schools on the mainland.

    Too-familiar names on the political scene might best be used only for advice and consultation.


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