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BreakingGround808 Breaks New Ground to Reach More High School Student

GCA is taking BreakingGround808 to a new, exciting level to inspire the next generation of construction industry professionals.

This signature program began in 2019 and featured a week of activities, usually held during spring break, to give high school students an opportunity to learn about different aspects of the construction industry through classroom learning and hands-on projects. They also met with GCA members so they could learn about the industry firsthand.

BG808 is changing this year to reach more students in more public schools, and to give students more time to absorb when they learn. This new and improved version of the program, which starts this fall includes a monthly full-day session, will be integrated into regular DOE curriculum. The sessions will be held from August to December 2024.

Solid Program

“Half of each day will be spent in the field building a project. We’re currently proposing a Tiny House to be donated to Kama’oku Kauhale or other similar program on Oahu,” said George Denise, Chair of the GCA Workforce Development Committee. “The other half of the day will be spent in the classroom, so that educators can learn about scheduling, estimating, plan reading, and other topics and experience some of the modern tools and techniques being used in construction today.”

The program will culminate with an optional session to visit a jobsite, based on the interest of the educators and availability of projects.

Personalized Mentoring

GCA members and other construction industry professionals will equip educators from across Hawaii with valuable information on the construction industry, so that in turn, they can be effective teachers to prepare students for a career in the building and construction industries.

This pilot program will involve five that have established, mature programs or have newer or less developed programs. Each school will be able to send two educators to participate in the BG808 program. The pair of educators will be partnered with a sponsoring contractor, who will offer representatives for the morning and the afternoon.

Effective Cohorts

“These small groups will be a team throughout the program,” said Samasoni Tamasese, Vice Chair of the GCA Workforce Development Committee. “The contractor will serve as a subject matter expert, mentor and resource to maximize the learning and development of the educators.”

“This will be a highly interactive, hands-on program to introduce modern and next-generation tools and techniques to educators, who will be able to teach and share their knowledge with their students throughout the school year,” Samasoni said.

If you are interested in serving as mentor to educators, contact Gladys Hagemann at

If your company is interested in serving as a mentor to educators, contact Gladys Hagemann at