In the mid 1950's, Hawaii was still a territory with an agricultural economy. Dwight Eisenhower was president of the United States and Bill Quinn was Hawaii's appointed governor.
During this time there were visionary men who foresaw the imminence of statehood and recognized the boom it would bring to our economy. These visionaries foresaw the importance of the building industry in the coming explosive growth of Hawaii and understood the value of bonding together in an association to promote the home building and construction industry. And so, in 1955, ten of these visionary men; William Blackfield, Bert Kanzaki, Earl Kato, Robert M. Kaya, Ward Kegin, Robert Kuniyuki, James Lai, Melvin Muraoka, Richard Sato and Kenneth Shioi, joined with others to charter the Home Builders Association of Hawaii with Robert M. Kaya its first president. The new association affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and was granted charter number 1220. Based in Washington DC, the NAHB is one of the largest and most influential trade associations in the country today.
Along the way, Hawaii did indeed become the 50th State in the Union, and the Home Builders Association of Hawaii grew and expanded its reach, ultimately becoming the Building Industry Association of Hawaii (BIA) in 1979.
Members of BIA are developers, general contractors, specialty contractors, suppliers, Realtors, architects, financial institutions and a host of other professionals who service the building industry. This unique mix enables members to network across their respective sectors and also provides the bridging of diverse interests into a common whole allowing the BIA to address the many challenges facing the industry with a uniquely balanced perspective.
The industry leadership of BIA-Hawaii is also recognized statewide with our four signature community-wide annual events: The Parade of Homes, The Home Building & Remodeling Show, The Renaissance Building and Remodeling Awards and The Remodel It Right Remodel It Green Expo.
In 2004 Congressman Neil Abercrombie chaired the HIPA Job Summit, bringing together community groups, government agencies and construction trades to address the need for skilled construction workers. With 30% of the skilled labor force retiring in 5 years and the privatization of military housing, the Study revealed the need for pre-apprentice construction training for retaining apprentices and ongoing training for trade workers.
That year, the BIA Board of Directors responded by committing to build The Construction Training Center of the Pacific and established two committees. The Building Committee was chaired by 2004 BIA President John Cheung and members of the committee were James Watanabe, Robert Armstrong, Kenneth Choate, Alan Shintani, Kip Kamoto, Paul Silen and Rodney Yamamoto. They were tasked with the site search and the development of the project. The "Changing Lives Building a Legacy” Capital Campaign Committee was formed and lead by 1992 BIA President Robert Armstrong and members of the committee were James Watanabe, Kenneth Choate, Mary Flood, John Cheung, Audrey Hidano, Scotty Anderson and Karen Nakamura. The 7.2 million dollar goal for acquisition of land and construction was met with contributions totaling nearly 8.3 million dollars. The BIA-HAWAII’s, Construction Training Center of the Pacific, opened in September of 2009 and continues to provide training and education to sustain the skilled workforce for the home building and construction industries.