Wilfred Arakaki is
the coordinator of the Apprenticeship and Journeyworker Training Program,
and Trades, at Honolulu Community College.
Although other coordinators preceded him, it is Arakaki’s innovative leadership
that nurtured the program through difficult times. And it is his resourcefulness
in working with representatives of business and industry that has made it evolve
into a formidable workforce developer in Hawai‘i.
According to college records, since fall 1987, more than 50,000 apprentices
and another 11,000 journeyworkers have enrolled in programs at Honolulu CC.
It has been Arakaki’s responsibility to register, place into appropriate classes,
and track the hours of each of these 61,000-plus students, and he
has done so in conscientious fashion.
Arakaki makes things happen for the benefit of others. For example, when Honolulu
CC held its first-ever fund-raising dinner on September 25, 1998,
he personally solicited and received large monetary donations from the college's
business partners, and secured numerous items for a silent auction. The fundraiser
was a tremendous success, with a net profit of over $16,000. Arakaki also spearheaded
an all-volunteer project in December 1997 that has become an annual tradition.
Looking for a hands-on experience for the apprentices to tackle, Arakaki organized
and unveiled plans for a huge lighting display. With the assistance of various
programs and volunteers, the holiday lighting project continues to be a unified
effort that is enjoyed by all who live, work, study and worship in Kalihi,
Palama and Chinatown.