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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           November 14, 2005

Release No. M-98



CITY ANNOUNCES PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP

TO BUILD LONG-AWAITED CONSTRUCTION TRAINING CENTER

           

            Mayor Mufi Hannemann today announced the City has entered into a partnership with the Building Industry Association of Hawaii to develop a $4,848,300 construction training facility in Kalihi to address the shortage of qualified pre-apprentice construction job applicants.

 

            “I’ve always maintained that the City should play a more active role in stimulating job creation and quality growth,” said Hannemann. “A Honolulu that’s economically vibrant can only benefit all of Hawaii’s people.”

 

            The Construction Training Center of the Pacific will be built on Dillingham Boulevard next to the Blood Bank of Hawaii, in part with a $2 million grant from the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the balance raised by the BIA. The center is envisioned as a multi-level building with 23,000 square feet of interior space for a conference facility, classrooms, a computer lab, an industrial equipment training area and offices.

 

            “The BIA approached my administration earlier this year about seeking a federal grant for this project, and we were happy to step up,” said Hannemann. “The recession of the 1990s resulted in the contraction of our building trades work force to fewer than 30,000 last year,” said Mayor Hannemann. “Now that the construction industry is picking up steam, it has been projected that we’ll need 10,000 to 26,000 more construction workers in the next few years. In order to fill those jobs, we need to have a workforce that’s better-trained and prepared to enter apprenticeship programs. This center will play a major role in preparing those workers.”

            Hannemann credited U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye with helping to secure the federal grant for this project.

                       

            The center will also be used for continuing education classes for workers already in the building trades as well as for training prospects. The BIA will manage the center and has already begun developing partnerships with various community groups and organizations to develop programs, recruit students, offer scholarships and provide job placement.

 

            The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday (November 9, 2005) adopted a resolution authorizing the administration to sign an intergovernmental agreement with the Commerce Department for the project. Completion of the final steps in the grant process is expected later this month.

 

            “The Construction Training Center of the Pacific will house a comprehensive training and resource center,” said Karen Nakamura, BIA chief executive officer. “The center will provide academic, vocational, counseling, job placement and related support services that address critical labor shortages in the state of Hawaii.”

           

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Contact:

          

            Jeanne Schultz, City Economic Development Director,

            527-5761

            Karen Nakamura, BIA Chief Executive Officer, 847-4666

Monday, November 14, 2005

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