Hawai‘i building industry celebrates new class of nearly 200 journeymen carpenters

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In a time of ongoing labor shortages across many sectors, the building industry welcomed over 190 newly-minted journeymen carpenters at the Hawai‘i Carpenters Apprenticeship & Training Fund Journeymen Recognition Ceremony on June 1 on O‘ahu.

This group of 192 individuals – 159 carpenters and 33 drywall workers – successfully completed HCATF’s apprenticeship program. There were 11 graduates from Kaua‘i, 22 from Maui County, 13 from the Big Island and 146 from O‘ahu.

Carpentry apprentices in a screenshot taken from a Hawai‘i Carpenters Apprenticeship & Training Fund video. Photo Courtesy: HCTAF

“Construction continues to be an important sector for our local economy,” said Edmund Aczon, HCATF executive director. “Bringing in this new class of highly-skilled journeymen is crucial for meeting current and future building needs across Hawai‘i, while also providing our laborers with viable career options to earn a living wage.”

The step from apprentice to journeyman takes approximately four to five years to complete, with a required combination of 500 to 600 classroom hours and 8,000 on-the-job work hours. Through extensive training through HCATF, journeymen gain craft knowledge and are better equipped to develop leadership, mentoring, coaching and communication skills, which impact the next generation of apprentices.


HCATF is a partnership between the Hawai‘i Regional Council of Carpenters, the General Contractors Labor Association, the Building Industry Labor Association, the Wall and Ceiling Industry Association of Hawai‘i, the state and federal government and the University of Hawai‘i.

“Construction is lifelong learning, and we want to ensure that union carpenters continue to improve their skills and do their best work to get ahead and stay ahead. It also supports a safe work environment at job sites for both those who are construction the project to the end users,” said Aczon.

Among the newly-minted journeymen is Jacob Schelin of Moss Construction, who has been working on an affordable housing project on Maui.


“It’s been a lot of hard work to get here,” said Schelin. “I’ve worked in the trades for many years on Maui and going through the apprenticeship program to become a journeyman has been really rewarding. I’ve worked on many projects but recently started building affordable housing projects on Maui, which we’re in dire need of across the state which makes the work so fulfilling. And in our line of work we’re able to earn a living wage, I can own my home and support my family.”   

As the state’s construction activity maintains momentum, HCATF and its partners remain focused on recruiting motivated candidates and providing training.

“We’re extremely proud of these journeymen,” said Aczon. “They exemplify the quality workmanship and professionalism our industry demands.”


Those interested can learn more about HCATF’s apprenticeship opportunities at

HCATF has also partnered with the Hawai‘i State Department of Education to create trades pathways for high school students, the University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges and other workforce development organizations. To learn more about HCATF visit


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