Leeward Coast students learn on the job interning at Hawaiian Electric Co.


June 23, 2011

(Honolulu, HI) – Four students from the Leeward community gained hands-on experience in the
electric utility industry through summer internships at Hawaiian Electric Company. Mentored by
experienced Hawaiian Electric employees, the students spent two weeks working in a variety of
areas including safety, power line maintenance, and support services.
Waianae High School junior Brandon Pitts was teamed with the Electrical and Welding Services
division at Hawaiian Electric’s Ward Avenue facilities.
“I tried to expose Brandon to all of the different aspects of welding craft work, from working with
the engineers to develop practical designs to constructing tools for every day power plant work,”
said Certified Welder/Machinist LeRoy Vierra, Jr., who served as Brandon’s mentor. “I also
wanted to encourage him to start thinking about his future and to start setting goals that will lead
him to the career of his choice.”
Campbell High School senior Jonathan Nguyen was partnered with mentor Occupational Health
Specialist Resti Paguirigan, and participated in a wide variety of safety events, including
ergonomics class, testing fire-fighting water cannons at the power plant, CPR and AED use
training, and incident investigations at locations across Oahu.
Two Waianae High School seniors, Michael Cobb III and Thompson Toetu’u-Aipa, were
partnered with the Construction and Maintenance division. During their two week-long
internship, the students visited a number of different worksites, performing tasks in support of
overhead and underground line crews and learning about the science and engineering of
“Aside from helping students develop specific employable skills, we strive to make the
connection between school, work, and achieving goals,” said Ka`iulani de Silva, director of
Education & Consumer Affairs. “We hope these bright, young students will finish their studies
and consider a career at Hawaiian Electric.”
Hawaiian Electric’s Summer Internship program is a partnership with the Hawaii Department of
Education and has been offered annually since 1995. Students are provided all necessary work
gear including safety shoes and safety glasses and upon completion of the program, are given a
$500 stipend.

Contact: Janeen Miller (808) 543-7779