Isemoto Named Outstanding Union Builder of the Year

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The Hawai’i Regional Council of Carpenters has named the Big Island’s Leslie Isemoto, president and chief operating officer of Isemoto Contracting Company, the 2015 Outstanding Union Builder of the Year.

Isemoto was recognized at a reception Wednesday evening hosted by Pacific Resource Partnership.

Each year, a contractor who has made an exception contribution to the construction industry and the community, who takes a cooperative approach to labor-management relations, and demonstrates strong support of union construction is given the award.

“Isemoto Contracting Company was built on family values and a commitment to quality craftsmanship, workplace safety and innovation. Les continues to build on his family’s legacy, leading a company that is regarded as a leader in civil construction, commercial and retail development and the construction of advanced scientific research installations,” noted Ron Taketa, executive secretary-treasurer of the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters.

Pictured left to right: Ron Taketa, Leslie Isemoto, John White. Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters photo.

Pictured left to right: Ron Taketa, Leslie Isemoto, John White. Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters photo.


Beginning his career in 1972 as a laborer-carpenter summer hire just before graduating high school, Isemoto is now the third generation to lead his 88-year-old family business.

After graduating, Isemoto attended the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and studied business management. He then worked for several years on Oahu before returning to the Big Island and rejoining his family’s company.

“My family and I are honored to receive this award,” Isemoto said. “We’ve worked hard over the years to build a business that we can all be proud of – one that provides opportunities for our employees and supports the community.”


The family company has been involved with a variety of large-scale projects on the Big Island. Some of the project include facilities at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo, Hilo International Airport, Wailuku Bridge, and the Edith Kanakaole Multi-Purpose Stadium. Isemoto Contracting has also completed a variety of major commercial, retail, resort, and residential projects all over the island.

In addition to the company’s wide portfolio of work, Isemoto Contracting is also one of the few builders locally that have the qualifications to construct advanced scientific research installations.

“Les Isemoto and his company have proven over the years that Hawaii has the talent, skill, and resources to compete with world-class, off-shore firms,” said John White, executive director of PRP. “They represent the best of Hawaii’s construction industry and have been a supporter of unionized construction for over 50 years. Les is a most worthy recipient of the Outstanding Union Builder of the Year award.”


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