Constructing a local workforce

  • Photo courtesy Dennis Esaki

    Students visiting the Esaki Surveying & Mapping booth get instruction from the firm’s survey party chief on the use of survey total station to measure positions and elevations Friday during the first Kauai Construction Career Day at Kauai Community College in Puhi.

  • Photo courtesy Shelley Paik

    Students get hands-on experience with some of the heavy equipment used by Kauai Island Utility Cooperative Friday during the first Kauai Construction Career Day at Kauai Community College in Puhi.

PUHI — In the past, students wanting experience and information on careers in the construction industry had to be flown off-island.

“For the past few years, we’ve flown high school students from Kauai to the other islands to learn about the multi-faceted construction industry, and the extensive range of career opportunities it offers,” said Conrad Murashige, co-chair of the Kauai Construction Career Day and president of Shioi Construction. “This is the first year that we’re holding the event on the Garden Island, and we couldn’t be prouder. Having Construction Career Day on Kauai ensures that even more students — and parents and educators — are able to gain a better understanding of our diverse sector.”

More than 350 students in grades six through 12 from schools around the island took part in the first Kauai Construction Career Day hosted on the campus of Kauai Community College.

“Due to a severe labor shortage in Hawaii, and throughout the country, there will be many construction-related careers that pay well and have great benefits,” said Melanie Martin, Hawaii Construction Career Days president.

As part of the experience in gaining hands-on awareness of the various construction-related industries, students were each provided with a backpack, hard hat, safety goggles and earplugs — basic safety and work gear.

The gear was worn while the students moved through the different vendor booths and heavy equipment areas, which were hosted by the different companies and organizations involved in Kauai’s building industry.

The mission of Hawaii Construction Career Days is to provide Hawaii’s youth with insight into career opportunities available in the construction industry.

The career day at KCC was developed in collaboration and sponsorship with Hawaii Construction Career Days, KCC Construction Academy, state Department of Education’s Kauai Complex Area, and a number of companies in the Kauai construction industry.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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