Masaki and Momoe Kunimoto Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Vocational Education
Kunimoto Award Winner
James Niino is an apprenticeship coordinator at Honolulu Community College. He is honored for the extraordinary growth of the construction industry through his expansion of the apprenticeship division over the last eight years.
As the coordinator, Niino has managed the largest apprenticeship program in the state of Hawaii with more than 3,500 students. His influence has been widespread, as he has been the consummate diplomat and liaison with other apprenticeship coordinators and instructors and union officials, bringing harmony between the two organizations.
Niino was involved in planning Honolulu’s Construction Initiative, which provided funds for the development of a Construction Academy. The high school students enrolled in the academy are taught by community college instructors. In addition, he has sat on a dozen hiring committees as the Construction Academy expanded its staff, never hesitating to volunteer to serve the college’s needs. Niino is praised by colleagues for his willing spirit and extraordinary leadership abilities.
The Masaki and Momoe Kunimoto Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Vocational Education rewards outstanding achievement and significant contribution to vocational and technical education by a community college faculty member or student.
The award was established by family members to honor the namesakes’ role in development of the food industry in Hawaii.
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