Huge job fair draws thousands - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Huge job fair draws thousands

Nolan Chang Nolan Chang
Ray Oyakawa Ray Oyakawa
Ryan Bustamente-Tolb Ryan Bustamente-Tolb

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - It's a chance to work on US military ships and submarines. The jobs not only come with good pay, but also job security, important perks in this struggling economy.

A crowd of nearly 8,000 filled the Honolulu Community College campus. Not for class, instead they're here for a job.

From the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

"We want people who are bright and industrious. Who want to get their hands dirty and want to help us fix ships and submarines," said the Shipyard's Public Affairs Officer, Nolan Chang.

There's only one problem, there aren't enough jobs to go around.

"It is amazing! Thousands of people applying for 100 jobs, its real competitive," said Shipyard Apprentice, Ray Oyakawa.

Those that meet the requirements and pass the interviews and tests, will not just work on US Navy ships and subs at Pearl Harbor, they will become an apprentice. Taking part in a four year work study program that pays trainees while they earn an associate's degree. And then give them opportunities once they are finished.

"It is basically a career, you get to learn a trade, its not just another job with good pay and benefits," said Ryan Bustamente-Tolb, who is applying for work.

But working at the historic Pearl Harbor Shipyard, which has been around for over a century also comes with stability, and job advancement opportunities.

"We have an aging workforce, so after graduating many are moved into supervisory positions or instructor positions," added Chang.

Quite a change from the public workforce -- where many companies are down sizing and laying off employees.

Which is why many eager applicants were excited about a new career after talking with representatives from the various trade departments.

"All the guys you talk to out here, they really love their jobs," exclaimed Bustamente-Tolb.

Pay for apprentices start at $18.30 an hour. The shipyard is accepting applications online from March 28th thru April 11.

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