Hawaii Electricians Training Fund
The Hawaii Electricians Training Fund (HETF) proudly celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. According to Sally Ching (HETF Staff), the program began under the direction of one key individual. “Akito ‘Blackie’ Fujikawa (1918-1983) had the foresight to understand the need to supply an adequate number of skilled and properly trained craftspersons through apprenticeship and for them to become licensed journeyworkers for the [electrical] industry. He understood the importance of working safely and the need for continuing education, resulting in the formation of the Joint Apprenticeship Committee, Joint Training Committee and Joint Safety Committee,” said Ching. These entities, according to Ching, are composed of joint labor-management members.
“The Hawaii Electricians Training Fund seeks to establish on all islands a training facility where all the beneficiaries of the fund can find and attend the necessary training needed for each to maintain and increase their knowledge base in the ever growing technology of the electrical industry,” said David Lovelace (HETF Training Director).
Robert Hanamoto, Owner, RMH Electric Co., Inc., has come full circle, from starting off as an apprentice in 1955, (where he graduated in 1959,) to becoming a unionized electrical contractor.
Following the closure of Veteran’s Electric Company in 1984, where he worked, Hanamoto opened his own electrical contracting business, RMH Electric Co., Inc. In addition, Hanamoto served as a training fund trustee (12 years), and is currently the Chairman on the JATC (Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee) and the Hawaii Electricians Joint Training committee.
So why enter the apprenticeship program with the HETF? Simply put, “Being a trades person is a good occupation for a person who is willing to learn and work hard. Electricians are one of two construction trades that are licensed with the State of Hawaii. As an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1186 member, you will command both good pay and good benefits. Therefore, you will need to keep yourself current with new skills, knowledge and technology of our industry and refresh your trade knowledge. This training is provided free to you as a benefit provided by the CBA between IBEW Local 1186, and signatory electrical contractors,” said Ching.
“The HETF/Apprenticeship Program has come a long way from its beginning stages. Congratulations, as they celebrate 50 years of continuous learning, while adapting to and keeping up with the latest technologies. In life, learning never stops, and it is a pleasure to know that our training fund keeps this philosophy in mind,” said Damien Kim, Business Manager/Financial Secretary for IBEW Local 1186.
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