2040 Lauwiliwili Street Kapolei, HI 96707

Nurturing Talent

High School Students Shine in the Annual Skills USA Competition

A Morning of Anticipation

On an early January morning, the Hawaii Carpenters Apprenticeship & Training Fund’s (HCATF) Kapolei Training Center was abuzz with excitement. Fourteen high school students from seven local schools across Hawaii gathered, ready to showcase their skills in the annual Skills USA Competition. The atmosphere was charged with the promise of discovery and the potential of young talent poised to shape the future of carpentry and cabinet making.

The Power of Skills USA Competitions

Skills USA Competitions are more than contests; they are platforms for dreams to take shape and ambitions to be fueled. HCATF’s partnership with the Department of Education and sponsorship from Swinerton Construction highlights a commitment to nurturing the brightest minds in the industry. These competitions offer a meaningful alternative to conventional educational pathways, opening a world of opportunities through apprenticeship.

A Day of Focus & Determination

As the competition unfolded, students engaged in intense concentration and determination. The carpentry category saw participants framing walls, crafting rafters, and demonstrating their stair construction skills, all evaluated on precision, safety, and craftsmanship. In the cabinetmaking arena, participants meticulously built cabinets from scratch, showcasing their expertise in cutting, assembling, and sanding.

Celebrating Talent & Potential

The students’ dedication was evident as they strived for excellence in various categories, from resume submission and attire to work area neatness and project assembly. The competition was a showcase of skill, culminating in a sense of pride and accomplishment among the participants. The feedback session led by seasoned industry experts served as a motivational beacon, affirming the students’ efforts and encouraging them to continue honing their construction skills.

Overcoming Challenges

Robert Kapuni Patcho, an HCATF Training Coordinator and instructor at Radford High School, shared insights into the challenges faced by students, emphasizing the importance of mental preparation and confidence in their knowledge base. The competition also involved dealing with uncertainty surrounding the projects, requiring students to be equipped to compete at the highest level.

A Moment of Triumph

The announcement of the winners marked a moment of triumph. In carpentry, Jayson Pascua from Maui High School took the top spot, followed by Kenta Vanderpool from Kealakehe High School and Kaiesha DeWeever from Pearl City High School. In cabinetmaking, Dyan Mae Castillo from Maui High School emerged as the victor, with Mikah Hall from Pearl City High School and Elijah Bermoro from Kealakehe High School following closely.

Laying the Foundation for the Future

The Skills USA Competition was a testament to the resilience, creativity, and potential of Hawaii’s youth. As we congratulate the winners and commend all participants, we extend our deepest gratitude to our industry partners who made this event possible. Together, we are laying the foundation for a future where talent thrives, and the art of carpentry continues to evolve and inspire.

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