student working with wood

Preparing high school students for the workforce was the theme of a special recognition ceremony that honored 53 high school students entering grades 10-12 and recent 2015 graduates from 21 Oʻahu high schools who successfully completed the Honolulu Community College Summer Construction Academy Program.

“The goal of our summer program is to ultimately give our students the chance to experience a little bit of the college campus,” explains Kenton Short, Construction Academy Program coordinator. “Students get the opportunity to get hands on training in various trades, giving them the opportunity to make informed choices, so that they can steer their own futures.”

The students were admitted into Honolulu CC for the four-week summer program. First-time students were exposed to four different career industries (carpentry, welding, sheet metal, and architectural, engineering and CAD technologies). Sixteen students are returning for their second, and in some cases, third summer with the program. These students participated in an advanced curriculum featuring carpentry and welding.

The Construction Academy Summer Program started with 12 students in 2008 and has grown over its seven-year existence. The summer experience is an extension of the Construction Academy that is in approximately 16 high schools across the state during the academic year filling the gap of industrial education in the public schools. The program was established through a grant funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and continues to operate solely on legislative funding.

“With the future workforce projection in the construction industry, we are able to provide career exploration that will eventually lead students to Honolulu CC to obtain a certificate or degree in a specific career or technical program eventually providing an entry point into the workforce,” Short shares.

For more photos, go to the Honolulu CC Flickr page.

—By Billie Lueder