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Career Connections Continues

Third Class Completes Career Connections Internships

Building Futures: Celebrating the Third Cohort of Career Connections Interns

This summer marked a milestone for fifteen high school students as they completed their internships through Career Connections, a testament to the growing partnership between the Hawaii Carpenters Apprenticeship & Training Fund (HCATF) and the Hawaii Department of Education. Representing the third graduating class, these students are part of a work-study curriculum pioneered by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters’ International Training Center, now offered in over 28 public schools statewide.

Cultivating Skills and Aspirations

Career Connections blends classroom theory with hands-on practical experience. In their junior or senior summer, students have the opportunity to engage in a comprehensive summer internship. Earning certificates through this program grants them direct entry into the apprenticeship program, setting a clear path toward a successful career in skilled trades.

A Celebration of Dedication 

The completion ceremony held on July 28 was not just a celebration of the students’ achievements but also a recognition of the educators and industry professionals who contributed to their journey. HCATF training coordinator, April Acquavella, commended the teachers for their unwavering commitment during a challenging year and acknowledged the signatory contractors for their mentorship and support.

Rigorous Selection, Rewarding Outcomes

Students faced an intensive selection process involving teacher recommendations, video interviews, and final deliberations by a diverse committee representing various sectors. The selected interns underwent certifications in OSHA and First Aid/CPR before their placement with contractors across Oahu, Maui, and Kauai, ensuring a well-rounded and safe learning experience.

Voices of the Future 

Intern Mason Chung, representing Mililani High School, delivered a powerful graduation speech, challenging the stereotype of the “lazy teenager” and emphasizing the commitment, curiosity, and courage of his peers. His message was clear: these interns are ready to embrace the challenges and opportunities of a career in skilled trades.

Praise from the Field 

The impact of the interns was evident in the feedback from their supervisors. Stories of eagerness, dedication, and potential were shared, highlighting the promising futures for these young apprentices. Notably, two interns were hired by their summer employers, and seven were automatically admitted into the apprenticeship program, marking the beginning of their professional journeys.

The Takeaway 

As the third class of Career Connections interns steps forward, they carry with them the skills, experiences, and determination shaped by this unique program. The partnership between HCATF and the Department of Education continues to forge paths for the youth of Hawaii, ensuring the future of skilled trades is in capable and committed hands.

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