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BreakingGround 808 Prepares High School Students for Construction Industry Careers

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After a two-year hiatus because of pandemic restrictions on gatherings for students, the General Contractors Association of Hawaii (GCA) held a workforce development program to prepare more than 40 students from Kapolei, Pearl City and Waipahu High Schools for careers in the construction industry this week.

“It’s back and bigger than ever,” said Cheryl Walthall, executive director of the GCA, which represents more than 500 general contractors and affiliated companies statewide. “GCA members and faculty from each school have been preparing for this exciting event for the past several months, making numerous site visits and developing the curriculum for the classroom sessions to ensure everything goes smoothly for the students who participate in the program during this fall break.”

“We are not only giving students an opportunity to explore career options, but also helping to build a pipeline of professionals to be ready to take their place in Hawaii’s construction industry. Our industry offers quality jobs and the professionals of the future will ensure construction remains a strong economic pillar in our state.”

Kawika Nakoa
Project Manager, Albert C. Kobayashi

Students participated in classroom sessions, learning about topics such as jobsite safety, plan reading, estimating, and scheduling, and working on hands-on construction projects, including widening sidewalks and installing pre-cast concrete benches, and building new picnic benches on the Waipahu High School campus.

“We’re all doing our part to invest in Hawaii’s next generation of construction professionals,” said Kawika Nakoa, project manager at Albert C. Kobayashi, Inc., who is one of the lead organizers of this week’s program. “We are not only giving students an opportunity to explore career options, but also helping to build a pipeline of professionals to be ready to take their place in Hawaii’s construction industry. Our industry offers quality jobs and the professionals of the future will ensure construction remains a strong economic pillar in our state.”

“We are providing a real-life work experience for these students, said Jonathan Kam, director of business development with Moss & Associates, LLC and vice chair of the GCA’s workforce development committee, whose son participated in the program in 2019. The students begin every day with one hour of classroom learning before going into the field for hands-on work. The students have numerous opportunities to meet professionals throughout the day to ask questions.”

It took the support of many GCA member companies and volunteers to bring this program to fruition. D & C Plumbing, Green Thumb, Koga Engineering & Construction, and Pacific Pipe contributed to the site work to prepare the Waipahu High School campus for the hands-on projects; Group Builders, Hensel Phelps, Largo Concrete, and Swinerton Builders each managed one of the construction projects, providing the planning, coordination, supervision and professional instruction for the students; and American Standard Concrete Pumping Hawaii, GPRM Prestress, Hawaiian Cement, HC&D, Island Ready-Mix Concrete, HPM Building Supply, Menehune Water Co., Pacific Building Materials, The Sherwin-Williams Company, and West Oahu Aggregate donated all of the materials and equipment for the event, including all of the concrete, the pre-cast concrete benches, concrete pump, lumber and hand tools and miscellaneous items for the students.

 

Several other companies contributed financially to support the program to provide PPE (personal protective equipment) for every student, bus transportation and bento lunches for the students each day. And over 100 GCA members and other industry professionals volunteered their time over the course of the week-long program.

It took the support of many GCA member companies and volunteers to bring this program to fruition.

SITE-PREP SPONSORS

D & C Plumbing, Green Thumb, Koga Engineering & Construction, and Pacific Pipe contributed to the site work to prepare the Waipahu High School campus for the hands-on projects.

ADOPT-A-PROJECT SPONSORS

Group Builders, Hensel Phelps, Largo Concrete, and Swinerton Builders each managed one of the construction projects, providing the planning, coordination, supervision and professional instruction for the students.

MATERIAL SPONSORS

American Standard Concrete Pumping Hawaii, GPRM Prestress, Hawaiian Cement, HC&D, HPM Building Supply, Island Ready-Mix Concrete, Pacific Building Materials, The Sherwin-Williams Company, and West Oahu Aggregate donated all of the materials and equipment for the event, including all of the concrete, the pre-cast concrete benches, concrete pump, lumber and hand tools and miscellaneous items for the students.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT SPONSORS

Several other companies contributed financially to support the program to provide PPE (personal protective equipment) for every student, bus transportation and bento lunches for the students each day. And over 100 GCA members and other industry professionals volunteered their time over the course of the week-long program.

CHAMPION

ADVOCATE

SUPPORTER

Healy Tibbitts Builders
Layton Construction Company

EVENT PHOTOS

Photos from Day 1 (10/3/2022)

Photos from Day 2 (10/4/2022)

Photos from Day 3 (10/5/2022)

Photos from Day 4 (10/6/2022)

Photos from Day 5 (10/7/2022)

For more information, contact the GCA of Hawaii at info@gcahawaii.org or (808) 833-1681