Building A Great Community
Wednesday - March 17, 2010
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By Lance Wilhelm
Senior Vice President and Hawaii Area Manager, Kiewit Building Group
Kiewit Building Group has been serving as a general contracting firm for more than 50 years in Hawaii, dating back to our work on Tripler Army Medical Center in 1948, but the essence and foundation of Kiewit’s philosophy hasn’t changed. While our parent company is headquartered in Omaha, our Hawaii area office has developed its own identity as a kama’aina company, ultimately committed to the future growth and development of our state.
Recently, Kiewit Building Group has completed many notable projects, including the Trump International Hotel and Tower at Waikiki Beach Walk, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ headquarters, extensive renovations to the Hale Koa Hotel as well as several military projects. Current work includes a new fitness center at Pearl Harbor Naval Base and infrastructure work at the Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island. In addition, Kiewit was awarded a $483 million contract for Phase 1 of the Honolulu Rail Transit project.
Our employees are the foundation of Kiewit’s success here in Hawaii and throughout North America. Our extensive training educates our employees on topics such as construction trends, fundamentals of cultural and business etiquette.
We take tremendous pride in our recruiting efforts to ensure we hire the best and the brightest in the industry.
We offer numerous local scholarships, which encourage our high school seniors to pursue an education in engineering, construction management, architecture and other related disciplines. Not only do we hire the best individuals, but we also make conscious efforts to hire locally.
While we continue to construct some of the finest buildings throughout the Islands, we also take pride in our contributions to the community, which again reflects on our people.
A number of our managers and employees are active on the boards of various professional and community organizations.
In addition to countless hours of volunteer time, over the years Kiewit has provided more than $500,000 in contributions to more than 100 local charities. Last year we donated $5,000 to the Child & Family Service’s capital campaign for a new emergency shelter and transitional housing facility in West Oahu for children and families escaping domestic violence. In 2008, Kiewit contributed $10,000 to the Nanakuli Housing Corporation to help it purchase materials to enhance a warehouse and training facility in Kalaeloa. We supported this valuable community resource not only because it helps educate Hawaiian families about homeowner-ship, but also because it helps perpetuate essential Hawaiian cultural values such as ohana, kuleana and lokahi.
Not only do we work to instill this commitment to the community in our employees, we extend it to participants in our internship program as well. In addition to the practical experience these future construction professionals receive, they all participate in Kiewit’s summer community service event. Last summer, Kiewit interns volunteered at Central YMCA, where they renovated 14 dormitory rooms.
Why do we place such emphasis on efforts like these? Because, as we see it, creating innovative new buildings is only the first step in building a great community, and helping to build a great community is the most satisfying work we could ask for.
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