High school and college students are getting a first-hand look at career and education opportunities available in Hawaii’s construction industry, thanks to the Hawaii Department of Transportation.
The department is sponsoring the 8th Annual Hawaii Construction and Career Days event Thursday and Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in the lower Halawa parking lot at Aloha Stadium.
“This is a chance for our department to give back to the community,” said Ford Fuchigami, DOT Interim Director. “We have the opportunity to show our young people the wide range of jobs available in the construction field from accountants to engineers and from inspectors to heavy-machine operators. We can reach out to our future leaders to keep Hawaii’s construction industry thriving and strong.”
Students are learning about various construction fields and getting hands-on experience with heavy equipment, tools and vehicles. For safety and added realism, each student is provided with a backpack, hard hat, safety goggles and earplugs to wear as they circulate through the event areas.
“It was pretty interesting. It was my first time operating a machine like that, so it was a good experience,” said Roosevelt High School junior Madison Sugimoto.
The “Trades” area features representatives from such specialties as carpenters, painters, tapers, floor layers, glaziers, electricians, laborers, masons, operating engineers, plumbers, roofers, insulators and ironworkers.
In the “Heavy Equipment” area, students have the opportunity to operate an excavator or crane simulator, ride a scissors lift and run other pieces of specialized equipment.
Students also visit various booths with information on educational opportunities in the construction field and learn about career paths from industry representatives.
The University of Hawaii College of Engineering and School of Architecture and the Honolulu Community College are participating at this year’s event.