About Hawaiian Trades Academy
Since its inception in 2019, the Hawaiian Trades Academy has received over $1.3M in grants; delivered 12 academies spanning Kauaʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi, and Oʻahu; and, serviced over 390 students in Carpentry, CDL, Fire, Police, and Solar academies. We are exploring more programs to deliver across the pae ʻāina.
Accelerator classes take place over an 8-14-week span. Participants learn and develop trade skills, gain mentoring, and leave the program with numerous certifications, like CDL licenses, OSHA-10 certification, respiratory and/or First Aid training. All programs include financial empowerment and Hawaiʻi culture education, and job placement assistance.
Am I a good fit?
- 18 years and older (specific age requirements may apply for certain programs)
- Hawaiʻi resident
- Interested/passionate in starting a trade career
- Looking to learn new skills and change careers
Fill out the interest form below to receive future announcements and notifications about upcoming programs.
Interested In Being an Instructor/Collaborator?
Maui & O‘ahu
Living on an island means many of our goods are shipped or flown in. The trucking industry is vital for moving cargo from Hawaiʻi ports and airports to their final destination. The Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Program is designed to provide hands-on training to students interested in driving commercial vehicles and focuses on obtaining a CDL-A license.
About the Program
The CDL program consists of seven phases:
Phase 1: Orientation
Course expectations, format and schedule are discussed while also providing space to meet fellow classmates, CDL instructors, and HTA staff.
Phase 2: Hawaiian cultural enrichment
Participants gain cultural perspective and knowledge taught by CNHA’s cultural ambassador.
Phase 3: Theory training
CNHA’s CDL program utilizes the J.J. Keller book “Entry-Level Driver Training Obtaining a CDL.” Participants receive accurate, up-to-date training that helps student drivers to be knowledgeable, skilled, professional and safe. Students are to study the assigned chapters on their own and take the exams online no later than the due date. Exam scores are sent to the federal government for review and recording and clearance is shared with the respective local County CDL Office.
Phase 4: Simulator training
Students learn how to operate a truck by sitting in the seat of a driver training simulator. This state-of-the-art machine is self-paced and provides adaptive training, including interactive shifting and backing modules. Students are supervised by a CDL instructor and guided to move at a comfortable pace within a designated time period. Students are expected to commit at least three (3) hours per week for simulator training.
Phase 5: Road Training
Training occurs in a real truck. Students will have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a rig and take to the roads with their instructor. All information learned from the permit and skills practiced in the simulator will merge and culminate in this practical setting. This step is critical to a successful performance at the CDL skills test, which participants take during the last two weeks of the class. Students are expected to commit at least four (4) hours per week for truck training.
Phase 6: Financial empowerment and Job readiness
One of the goals of the CDL Program is to provide job opportunities that will result in increased income. We want to empower enrollees with financial education and knowledge, so there is an awareness of what options are available with that increased wage. We also want students to be job ready by offering assistance in creating/updating a resume and sharing basic techniques to help prepare for an interview.
Phase 7: Graduation
At the end of the program we take time to honor the hard work and accomplishments of all graduates.
- Must be 21 years of age or older (industry standard)
- Must possess a valid driver’s license
- Must submit a copy of a valid Hawaiʻi CDL-A permit
- Must submit a copy of current medical examiner’s certificate (Form MCSA-5876) completed by a qualified medical examiner on the national registry of certified medical examiners
- Must pay for fees associated with the CDL-A skills test appointment and license
The fee for the course is $250 and does not include industry related fees and expenses.
NOTE: Space is extremely limited. The CDL-A permit is mandatory for consideration, but does not guarantee acceptance into the program.
Notes about the CDL-A Permit
There is free or relatively low cost curriculum to study and help prepare for the permit test on your own. Since the A-permit is a REQUIREMENT for CNHA’s CDL Program, we share these tips on preparing for the permit:
- Study the CDL Manual by purchasing a hard copy or downloading the online version at https://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/files/2020/01/Final-Proof-CDL-Alternate-Margin.pdf. The hard copy is $8.00 and can be bought at the Commercial Driver Licensing Office at 897 Second Street in Pearl City. Study the manual diligently for the three permit tests: general knowledge, air brakes, and combination. You must pass all three to get the permit. All three do NOT have to be passed at the same time, but you need to pass general knowledge before being allowed to take air brakes and/or combination.
- Download one of many apps to supplement the material in the Manual. For your reference some of the apps are entitled “CDL Prep,” “CDL Prep Practice Test 2022,” and “CDL Permit Test 2022.” Check out this helpful CDL Test Prep mobile app for iPhone and Android.
- Watch videos on YouTube. Some of the videos are entitled “How to Get Your CDL Permit – Pass the First Time – Driving Academy,” “2020 CDL Questions General Knowledge Exam #1,” and “CDL Air Brakes Test Questions and Answers.”
- Scheduling a testing day and time.
- Oʻahu: go to alohaq.net to schedule. The costs are $30 permit application fee, $15 general knowledge test fee, and $5 fee each to take the air brake and combination tests.
- Submit to CDL Office a copy of your current medical examiner’s certificate (Form MCSA-5876) completed by a qualified medical examiner on the national registry of certified medical examiners. Information on the medical and physical requirements is available at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations (see Part 391.41, Physical qualifications for drivers).
- Go to page 3 of the Manual for more detailed information on the permit test
The goal of the Craftsmen Program is to help participants earn OSHA-10 and First Aid/CPR/AED certification, which are minimum requirements for entry level Craftsmen positions in the construction union. Participants who walk away with these certifications will gain valuable credentials that can provide opportunities for immediate hire in the union. Students will be taught by industry-certified professionals.
A subsequent component of the program is math test preparation that will help upskill participants in order to move up in position.
Stay tuned for more information on this course. Join our Trades Interest list (see above) to receive upcoming email announcements and to learn more!
MAUI, MOLOKAʻI, OʻAHU
The Carpentry Program gives students hands-on opportunities to learn and hone skills necessary for entry level carpentry positions. The program introduces students to the foundational knowledge needed to prepare for employment in the carpentry trade and further opportunities for a career in the construction industry. Program graduates will receive trade certifications, such as, OSHA-10, Respiratory, or First Aid that add value to a resume. The course is taught by experienced industry professionals.
Past Programs – Gallery of programs held on Maui, Molokaʻi, and Oʻahu coming soon.
Police Exam Prep
Kaua‘i, Maui, O‘ahu
The Police Program helps students prepare for a career in the Police Department at select counties in the state of Hawaiʻi. Tailored to the specific county, the program aims to help students develop skills and critical thinking needed in law enforcement, and is designed to assist students in successfully navigating the Police Academy examinations through test-taking strategies and mentoring from active and/or retired staff and leaders from the police department.
In-person classes in Kahului! Remote/distance learning options available. The Program will be taught by an industry professional with experience working with Maui Police Department. The course runs approximately 10 weeks long; including orientation, classroom instruction, Financial Empowerment/ Job Readiness, Hawaiian Cultural Enrichment, and Graduation.
18 years and older may apply. Start training now for this amazing career opportunity. Please note that MPD requires all candidates for employment as a Police Officer 1 to be at least 20 years of age.
Training is FREE due to grants from our sponsors. However, a $100 REFUNDABLE PARTICIATION DEPOSIT will be due on the first day of class, then returned to students who successfully complete the program.
Firefighter Exam prep
Past Programs – Gallery of programs held on Kaua‘i and Oʻahu coming soon.
“I was let go from my job due to COVID and in the process I was really in a position to pivot in terms of my career trajectory. I was really asking what that was going to look like, how was that going to happen? And when I received this email, I just thought this is it! This class gives me hope for my personal trajectory. It excites me that there are opportunities for our Native Hawaiian and local communities.”
Working together to serve our community.
MAHALO NUI LOA!
Aloha United Way, City & County of Honolulu, Kamehameha Schools, Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Blue Line Investments, LLC, County of Kauaʻi, Friends of Kauaʻi Fire Department, Kauaʻi Community College Office of Continuing Education and Training, Kauaʻi Police Department, Leigh’s CDL Training LLC, Makaha Cultural Learning Center
Rona is the daughter of Arleen “Puanani” (Chong) Lum Lee and the late Bernard “Bernie” Ching. She grew up in Kaʻimukī and is the second oldest of four daughters. She is a proud graduate of ʻIolani School and the University of Washington. Rona has spent most of her adult life working with students in higher education and has a passion for helping Native Hawaiians.
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