HCATF Wraps Summer Internship Program

HCATF interns pose for a photo after graduation.     PHOTO COURTESY HCATF

Nearly a dozen high school graduates recently completed the Hawaii Carpenters Apprenticeship & Training Fund’s Career Connections Summer Internship Program, taking one step closer to careers in construction.

The program, now in its fifth year, provides six weeks of paid, hands-on experience at major construction sites. Upon completion, graduates gain direct entry to the HCATF apprenticeship program.

“In a world where high school graduates are faced with numerous career paths, our program provides a unique insight into the world of construction, offering students the opportunity to explore this rewarding profession,” HCATF Training Coordinator Robert Kapuni Patcho said in a news release.

One of this summer’s participants was Leanne Tacadena, a graduate of Waipahu High School. She expressed excitement about starting on a new path in the Hawai‘i construction industry.

“I loved it,” she said in the release. “The first day I was intimidated because I was one of the only women on-site, but as the weeks went by, I really enjoyed it and I focused on my goal to become an apprentice.”

Tacadena will begin working with general contractor Group Builders Inc.

According to organizers, the program aims to address the construction industry’s long-standing challenge of attracting young talent.

This initiative serves as a vital bridge between high school education and skilled trades, and includes support from local companies including Nordic PCL Construction Inc., Group Builders Inc., Shioi Construction Inc., Nan Inc., Gill Development LLC, BEK Inc., Bruce Matson Co. Inc., Allied Builders System, Viking Construction Inc., Strong Enterprises LLC, Swinerton Builders, La‘au Structures Inc. and Largo Concrete Inc.

The internship involves two primary phases: initial preparatory training that covers OSHA 10 and First Aid/CPR certifications, material handling and basic tool safety; followed by a six-week, full-time internship. Students work closely with mentors, including journeyworkers and field supervisors, to gain a nuanced understanding of the construction field.

Half of the program’s graduates will enter their senior year of high school with a focus on careers in the trades.

For more information on the HCATF and the organization’s Career Connections Summer Internship Program, visit hicarpenterstraining.com.

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