Honolulu Community College Receives $1.4M Grant for Construction Academy Initiative

Honolulu Community College
Kyle Chock, (808) 845-9187
Chancellor's Office
Posted: Oct 20, 2004

Honolulu — The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) awarded a $1.4 million grant to fund Honolulu Community College‘s "Construction Academy" initiative. The announcement of the federal grant was made today at the Construction Expo sponsored by the Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Emily Stover DeRocco, assistant secretary of the Employment and Training Administration of the USDOL, shared the news through a videotaped message.

"I‘d like to announce some good news at Honolulu Community College today. I am pleased and proud to announce a $1.4 million dollar grant to create and sustain a model construction academy. We applaud your recognition of the need to raise public awareness of the opportunities in the skilled trades and construction," said DeRocco.

Honolulu CC submitted the grant proposal and serves as the lead campus for the University of Hawaii on construction related issues. "We‘re building the future workforce of our state and the construction industry by investing in our youth. There are numerous opportunities for local kids to learn a skilled trade or earn a specialized degree due to the booming construction industry, " said Ramsey Pedersen, Chancellor of Honolulu CC. Participating DOE high schools include: Kailua, Kahuku, Waialua, Mililani, Waipahu, Radford, Pearl City, and the Hawaii Academy for Arts and Sciences.

As the local construction industry continues to experience tremendous growth, the need to produce qualified workers entering the field is great. Local economists have projected more than 11,000 new construction related jobs in the next seven years.

Major highlights of the Construction Academy grant include:

* Creating a standardized Building and Construction curriculum in the DOE
* Contracting instructors to serve as "circuit riders" throughout the system
* Teacher training, mentorship, and internship opportunities by industry professionals and local contractors
* An extensive marketing and recruitment campaign
* Establishment of a statewide industry advisory council

Honolulu CC has recently secured more than $2.2M in federal dollars to support educational efforts in the building and construction trades. Last month, the college was awarded an $800,000 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to construct new classrooms for education and training purposes.

The following organizations and individuals were instrumental in the awarding of this major initiative:

United States Senator Daniel K. Inouye
United States Senator Daniel K. Akaka
Representative Neil Abercrombie
Representative Ed Case
Governor Linda Lingle
Nelson Befitel - Department of Labor and Industrial Relations
The Office of City Council Chairman Donovan Delacruz
Ron Taketa - The Hawaii Carpenters Union Local No. 745
Harold Bradshaw - Sheet Metal Workers‘ International Association Local Union No. 293
Bruce Coppa - Pacific Resource Partnership
Pat Hamamoto - Department of Education
Christine McColgan - Oahu Workforce Investment Board