Maui News

Pre-apprenticeship program offers paid high school summer internships in building trades

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Young woman works as a carpenter or craftsman in a workshop with wood

The Hawaiʻi Carpenters Apprenticeship & Training Fund, in partnership with the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education, is accepting applications through March 25 for its 2022 Career Connections Pre-Apprenticeship Summer Program.

The paid summer program is designed to create a bright future for high school students interested in learning about construction and the building trades. 

The Career Connections program begins with an introductory state-of-the-industry training orientation provided at no cost, followed by a six-week paid internship with a Maui contractor. Training sessions will be held via Zoom and in-person at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College. Summer interns are paid $15 per hour and are exposed to carpentry trades. On the jobsite, they will shadow an experienced journeyworker or supervisor. 

“This program gives our youth an ideal opportunity to explore their interest in the building trades and succeed beyond the classroom,” said Edmund Aczon, HCATF’s executive director. “The foundational training period we provide followed by spending an extended period on the jobsite will result in an invaluable growth experience.”

High school students aged 16 and over, including those who will graduate with the class of 2022, and have completed or are currently enrolled in a Building and Construction Skills Level 2 class are eligible to apply. 

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Since 2017, the Career Connections program has grown to 30 participating high schools statewide, including Henry Perrine Baldwin, King Kekaulike, Lānaʻi, Maui and Molokaʻi high schools. 

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In 2021, when the Career Connections summer program expanded to Maui, two students from Maui High were matched with Viking Construction Inc. As a result of the positive experience, Viking Project Manager Selwyn Bate is committed to participating in the summer program for the foreseeable future. Bate believes the opportunity his company provides is well-suited for someone who enjoys hands-on work. 

“The interns were really green when they first came on board but had a great attitude so we gave it a go – exposing them to all aspects of the project, and they handled everything well,” said Bate. “It’s a win-win for us to be able to hire someone at the very beginning of their career and then teach them the way we do things to train them up.” 

Career Connections interns will be selected by a selection committee based on their student application, a teacher recommendation, and an interview. The number of interns selected from each island will depend upon the final number of internships offered by participating construction companies. That process is still underway and will be finalized during the next two months.  

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Interested applicants, family members, and/or teachers may learn more by contacting HCATF at 808-848-0794 ext. 181 or emailing [email protected] The deadline to submit is March 25, 2022, but HCATF encourages applicants to apply early in order to accommodate all qualified applicants.

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