Summer Construction Academy helps shape the next workforce generation

Honolulu Community College
Billie K T Lueder, (808) 845-9187
Communications & External Affairs, Chancellor's Office
Posted: Jul 19, 2012

Student work on display.
Student work on display.
Construction Academy students posing with their "Gunam" figurine.
Construction Academy students posing with their "Gunam" figurine.
Sixty-three high school students from 14 O‘ahu high schools were recognized in a special ceremony celebrating their completion of the five-week Construction Academy Summer Program held recently at Honolulu Community College.
High school students who will be entering grades 10–12 and recent 2012 graduates were admitted to Honolulu CC for the summer program, and were registered in a three-credit course, IEDB 20—Introduction to Building & Construction. They were exposed to five different trades (carpentry, welding, sheet metal, plumbing, as well as architectural, engineering, and CAD technologies).
Of the 63 students:
  • 50 percent are 2012 high school graduates
  • 83 percent of those high school graduates have matriculated into the University of Hawai‘i System while 67 percent of those graduates will be attending Honolulu Community College this fall
  • 14.3 percent of the 63 students are female and one-third is Native Hawaiian
At the recognition ceremony, students showcased their project work for family and friends, which included toolboxes, stools, model house frames, welding figurines, and dustpans.
Christian Dela Cuz, a 2012 Leilehua graduate spent three summers with Honolulu’s Construction Academy. Through his experiences he discovered that welding “stole his heart”. He will be pursuing a degree in welding technology this fall verses carpentry, which he was originally interested in.
Former summer Construction Academy student Jasmine Garay matriculated to Honolulu CC in the fall 2011 semester after graduating from Mililani High School. The once aspiring marine biologist addressed the 2012 cohort sharing her post Construction Academy experience. Garay is currently enrolled in the welding associate’s degree program at Honolulu CC, and recently joined Hawai‘i’s plumbers and pipefitters union.
The Summer Construction Academy started with 12 students in 2006 and has grown over its six-year existence. The summer experience is an extension of the Construction Academy that is in approximately 35 high schools across the state during the academic year filling the gap of industrial education in the public schools.