On July 18, 2014, eight high school students were recognized in a special ceremony celebrating the completion of the 11th Hawaiʻi High School Auto Academy at Honolulu Community College.
The auto academy targets high school students interested in the automotive industry. The students participated in an unpaid internship at a Cutter dealership in the mornings, then attended classes at Honolulu CC in the afternoon, five days a week for six weeks to total 120 classroom hours. Upon successful completion of the program the students received four college credits towards an associates of applied science degree in automotive technology.
“This program not only exposes high school students to the automotive industry, but it gives them a unique opportunity to experience a college level learning environment,” explains Honolulu CC Chancellor Erika Lacro. “We are teaching them transferable skills that will translate in any workplace.”
The innovative summer program began as a collaborative partnership between Honolulu Community College, First Hawaiian Bank, Waipahu High School and the Cutter Automotive Group in response to a shortage of trained workers in the automotive technology industry.
“We are grateful for the generous monetary contribution from First Hawaiian Bank to continue this program, and are thankful to our partners at the Cutter Automotive Group for giving these students a valuable internship experience,” says Automotive Instructor Warren Takata. Since the program’s inception in 2004, the bank has contributed over $125,000, which covers the cost of tuition, tools and supplies.
UH News video: “Students complete Honolulu CC’s Auto Academy” (July 13, 2012)