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Pearl Harbor Program Helps Military Personnel Return to Civilian Life

December 2, 2017, 11:00 AM HST
* Updated December 2, 9:32 AM
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The USS Arizona Memorial, at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu. Big Island Now stock photo.

A new program based in Pearl Harbor is helping soon-to-be military veterans return to civilian life by providing new trade and industry management skills.

The 12-week program is sponsored by the Concrete Preservation Institute (CPI) and offers hands-on projects repairing concrete landmark structures at Pearl Harbor’s Battleship Row, a National Park Service (NPS) site. The program is designed to help active duty military personnel avoid unemployment and underemployment while transitioning back to civilian life.

“We provide valuable career development opportunities for our country’s deserving service members and train the critically-needed workforce for the concrete industry facing a shortage of skilled tradespeople and managers required to build and fix our country’s infrastructure,” said CPI President and CEO Tanya Komas. “CPI is a win-win-win public-private partnership that repairs deferred maintenance projects that may not otherwise be completed on National Park Service sites with irreplaceable cultural heritage.”\

The CPI-sponsored initiative is an official U.S. military career skills program that also helps upkeep and maintenance at Pearl Harbor and other NPS sites. The popular Hawai‘i destination averages more than a million visitors each year. The transition program helps preserve national landmarks and monuments to increase public safety and access while providing training for military participants in infrastructure, construction and concrete.

“Programs like CPI help our transitioning active military members remain strong for life,” said Lieutenant Colonel Rynele Mardis, western region director for the Soldier for Life Program. “These collaborative efforts provide meaningful employment training, skills, and opportunities for veterans, soldiers, and spouses, and enable soldiers to reintegrate into local communities and civilian industries.”

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CPI holds three 12-week sessions each year at Pearl Harbor. An identical program is also offered at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy at Alcatraz Island in California. Service members remain on active duty while training and can earn professional certifications. CPI connects certified candidates with industry employers seeking qualified individuals in concrete repair, new construction, material production, transportation, business, sales, operations, safety and other construction-related areas.

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CPI will hold a graduation ceremony to honor the current class of participants, which includes nine active duty service members on Dec. 1, 2017, at the Pearl Harbor site.

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