Scholarships created by gifts from Ward Village and Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. gave a well-deserved boost to more than 150 students enrolled in Honolulu Community College’s Apprenticeship and Journey Worker Training.
The 155 students in the apprenticeship program each received $300 from the scholarships, which were established last fall by Ward Village, The Howard Hughes Corp.’s 60-acre master-planned community in Kakaʻako, and Hawaiian Dredging. The gifts, awarded to every student who applied, were supplemented with federal CARES Act funding.
The scholarships were a welcome surprise for the apprentices, who may use the funds to help pay for any cost of attending the program, including child care, tools, transportation or personal protective equipment.
“It truly means quite a bit to not only myself, but to my family as well, since this will help us to cover some expenses for our daughter,” said Payton Otani, an apprentice with Floorlayers Local 1926. “I would like to extend thanks and gratitude because, although $300 may not seem like much when compared to the cost of living in Hawaii, to me it’s much more than a dollar amount; It’s a step towards a better future.”
Ward Village gifted $25,000, and Hawaiian Dredging gifted $10,000, for the construction-related scholarships to commemorate the topping off of the Kōʻula condominium tower in November. A separate gift from Ward Village funded scholarships for students in UH Mānoa’s College of Engineering, School of Architecture and Department of Urban Planning and Development. Students from each will receive a scholarship in Fall 2022.
“We believe in working together with partners – private and public – to drive positive impact in our community and build a resilient future for our state,” said Doug Johnstone, president, Hawai‘i at The Howard Hughes Corp. “We’re pleased to help further the revitalization of Honolulu’s urban core and strengthen our community in partnership with Hawaiian Dredging Company and Honolulu Community College.”
Hawaiian Dredging is the general contractor on the Kōʻula project, a 41-story tower next to Victoria Ward Park that will have 565 condo units when it is completed later this year. It is the sixth tower for Ward Village, where a seventh tower, Victoria Place is also under construction. The Howard Hughes Corp. is also working on plans for three more towers — The Park Ward Village, Kalae and Ulana Ward Village, which will have 697 workforce condos.
“The construction industry provides thousands of jobs for Hawai‘i’s economy, and we’re excited to contribute to the development of our workforce,” said Gerry Majkut, president of Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. “It’s rewarding to reach this project milestone and give back to the programs that help train the professionals who make building a project like Kō‘ula possible.”
The Apprenticeship and Journey Worker Training program at Honolulu Community College offers workforce training through classes for students on Oʻahu who are already apprenticing for one of more than two dozen construction and mechanical trades, as well as to journey workers looking to upgrade their skills and earn job-related certifications.
“We rarely, if ever, receive scholarships or donations directly benefiting our apprentices, so we are incredibly grateful to Ward Village and Hawaiian Dredging for investing in our construction workforce,” said Karen C. Lee, interim chancellor of Honolulu Community College. “Together with federal CARES funds directed to students, we were able to award over 150 students with a $300 scholarship. We are grateful for the partnership and investment in our students!”
Since students are working during the week, classes are held on weekday evenings and Saturday mornings. Students may apply their work process and related instructional hours toward an associate’s degree after they finish an approved apprenticeship program.
“I wanted to express my sincere appreciation for this award,” said Marvis Tauala, a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1186. “It’s these types of surprises that help you understand that there are people and organizations that are willing to invest in you. That is very moving and fulfilling.”