Gino Anontiello speaks with Emily Moss from Waipahu about her project on "How Foods Affect Your Mood"

Sumitomo Corporation once again came to the aid of the State Science & Engineering Fair, as a key sponsor of the event. Vice President of Transportation Systems & Equipment, Gino Antoniello was on hand to continue his Celebrity Judging duties from last year. “This is such a great event. I was blown away by the quality of the projects last time and so far this year has been no different,” he said.

Over 7,000 students participated in this year’s science fair, with 500 finalists moving on to compete at the Hawai’i Convention Center. The winners will go on to compete for scholarships and prizes in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in California. Those winners also have the opportunity to meet some of the top scientists and engineers from around the world.

Antoniello was not the only celebrity in the house as Governor Abercrombie was also on hand for the state’s largest and longest running science fair. The event was kicked off by Bruce Anderson, President of the Science Fair and Hawaii Academy of Science.

Antoniello offers feedback to middle school student Matthew Barrett on his project "How you can beat the heat in your home"

Governor Abercrombie also addressed the packed convention room full of students, judges and community members.

Sumitomo has been very active in the community since they first got involved with the Honolulu Rail Project. “We truly believe in investing in the communities and helping support the next generation of leaders here in Hawai’i,” said Antoniello. Mr. Antoniello and other top executives have attended numerous career fairs at the University of Hawai’i, in addition to the State Science fair and a whole host of other community events. Sumitomo has also met with local high schools to help develop a curriculum that will prepare students for succesful careers with rail.

For more information on this year’s science fair visit the official website: http://www.hawaii.edu/acadsci/statefair.html

Posted by: loomisisc | February 26, 2011

Groundbreaking!

It’s official…rail is underway! The groundbreaking ceremony for the Honolulu Rail Project was held on Tuesday, February 22, in Kapolei. It signaled the start to a project that will forever improve the lives of people living and visiting Oahu.

Over 500 rail supporters attended the ceremony including Hawaii’s congressional members, state legislators and business leaders.

Mayor Carlisle addresses the crowd of rail supporters

Attendees were abuzz with excitement about the numerous benefits that this rail project will bring to the residents of Oahu. Mayor Carlisle, a key supporter of the project addressed the ceremony’s attendees saying “The rail transit project is not being built just for those of us here today, but for decades and generations to come. It is not being built just to transform our methods of transportation, and it will do that. It is also being built to transform our neighborhoods, where we live and how we live.”

The moment everyone has been waiting for. Less traffic and more jobs are on the way!

The ceremony included live music performed by the Royal Hawaiian Band, a blessing of the land and of course the groundbreaking itself. The city leaders broke ground using ‘o’o sticks made of koa wood. These sticks were used in ancient times to prepare the ground for planting.

Sumitomo executives are excited about the prosepct of helping to get the rail project started!

Sumitomo executives were invited to take part in the historic event and were excited to see the rail project finally get started. “This groundbreaking ceremony has been a long time coming. I am proud and honored to be here today,” Gino Antoniello, Sumitomo VP of Transportation Systems and Equipment (second from left). “I’ve been to many of these type of events before but this one was truly special. The blessing of the land and cultural practices displayed really set this groundbreaking ceremony apart from all the rest,” Antoniello added.

It seems the only thing left to do is to start building. Mayor Carlisle estimated that roughly 1,000 jobs will be created by the rail project in the first year alone. “We’re excited about the great job opportunities with this project, it’s time to put people to work,” said Antoniello. To learn about potential job opportunities with Sumitomo and the Honolulu Rail Project visit HonoluluRailForGrowth.com

Posted by: loomisisc | January 27, 2011

“Rail will drive down my blood pressure.”

Jim Loomis, NARP’s Council Representative-Hawaii (right) thanks Gino Antoniello, Sumitomo VP – Transportation Systems and Equipment for his insights into the Honolulu mass transit project.

That, said Honolulu attorney Carroll Taylor, is why he is a long time rail advocate and why he became a member of the Hawaii Chapter of the National Association of Rail Passengers.  Taylor was only half joking. He swears that getting on board a train will help take anyone’s blood pressure down by at least 30%. OK, that’s not a verifiable number. But you get the idea. Taylor insists getting people out of traffic jams and into trains will help get them off their blood pressure medication.

Taylor was part of a group of 25 who met last week at a luncheon sponsored by Sumitomo Corp of America.  It was the first official meeting of the Hawaii chapter of NARP that included other rail advocates and heads of educational institutions interested in the jobs rail would create for their graduates.

“No city that has committed to rail has ever asked for it to be removed,” said guest speaker, Gino Antoniello, Sumitomo’s VP-Transportations Systems and Equipment.  “Yes, there is a lot of second-guessing before the trains are built. But once those trains start running, they become an essential part of people’s lives. As a father and as a person with nearly 25 years in rail, I believe it is vital for my children’s future and for the City’s future,” he added.

Rail: An Essential Travel Option
Committed train travelers Fran Beardsley and Jim Harwood, two other long time NARP members who were at the luncheon meeting agree whole-heartedly. Both call themselves true believers. Beardsley who has lived on the island since 1968 gets around a lot by bus but she looks forward to

Rail in Honolulu could make for a faster, safer, and more productive commute for thousands of Oahu residents.

having an alternative.  Harwood says he and his wife would ride the train if the option existed.

And that said, Jim Loomis, NARP’s Council Representative-Hawaii, is why the association strongly supports Honolulu rail as part of their promotion of rail as a green travel choice that Americans want and need. NARP has 22,000 members nationwide and meets twice a year. http://www.narprail.org/cms/index.php

Sumitomo VP – Transportation Systems and Equipment, Gino Antoniello, speaks with a recent college graduate interested in career opportunities with the Honolulu rail project at the Job Quest Career Fair.

Integration into the Community
Antoniello emphasized that Sumitomo wants to approach the building and operating of trains for Honolulu in a way that truly is integrated with the community. “We want to hire and train young people and show them how they can build a career path with rail. I did it. I want to show students in colleges and schools here that they can too. It’s a fulfilling career with lots of growth opportunities. But we have to get started.”

Posted by: loomisisc | January 27, 2011

Ready to Roll!

Thousands of job hunters stopped by the Sumitomo booth at the Job Quest fair at the Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall this week to learn more about exciting job opportunities with the Honolulu rail transit project.

Job Quest 2011

Sumitomo executives answer the day's top question: "when is the rail project going to get started?"

Top Sumitomo executives were on hand to talk with prospective job applicants who had backgrounds as diverse as the many career areas Sumitomo offers. Some people had worked for the city or state, others the private sector or the military. From new college graduates and MBA’s from Ivy league schools, to people who just moved to Hawaii and those who have lived here their entire lives, the one thing they all shared was a firm belief in the Honolulu rail transit project and a desire to take part in it.

“Rail is going to wake Hawaii up. It’s about time we got rail going here in Hawaii,” said Marion, a job fair attendee who stopped by the Sumitomo booth

Job Quest 2011

Ben Bahr: "I'm from Germany where it's all about rail transportation. I proudly support bringing rail to Hawaii."

Kamaria Hassan Richardson, another job fair attendee excited about rail added: “Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia – they all have great rail systems. We should have rail in Honolulu. It’s very, very important.”

At day’s end Sumitomo executives were left with hundreds of resumes from talented people excited about rail. Vice President of Transportation Systems and Equipment Gino Antoniello summed the day up best by saying “people are ready to get rail started, Sumitomo is ready to get started – This is going to be a great project for Honolulu.”

To see video coverage by Olena Heu at KHON-2 visit: http://www.khon2.com/content/news/developingstories/story/Honolulus-Rail-Project-hiring/KRVF5omx3Uaw68PwirYV1Q.cspx?rss=2433

Posted by: loomisisc | January 12, 2011

Bangkok Transformed by Rail

Here’s a letter from recently returned traveler to Bangkok, Tim Deegan, who found the city transformed by rail.

photo credit: Tim Deegan

Recently returning from a business trip to Bangkok, this was the first time I had visited the “City of Angels” since 1995- just before construction began on its now famous Sky Train. This booming metropolis is a testament to the return on investment derived from a much needed train system. A place considered by many to have the worst traffic congestion in the world, old Bangkok was mired in pollution and paralysis. A short journey of a few miles could take hours of expensive engine idling and loss of productivity. Professionals commuting to the city would often awake at 3AM to place their still-sleeping children in the car and begin the daily commute. Family breakfast was served in-transit to arrive at the office by 9AM. At the end of the day, families were forced to again dine in the car while the kids would do their homework only to arrive home about 9PM, just in time for bed.

Bangkok’s government and its citizens knew something had to be done, fully understanding that necessary construction was going to make the present traffic situation even worse- but only for a while. This was a long-term investment in their economic future and quality of life as well as that of their children for generations to come. Not letting short-term barriers such as inevitable economic downturns get in the way, the city continues to invest in a vast elevated rail system that connects countless new developments. An entire middle-class has emerged within a rail platform environment reminiscent of such global economic leaders such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

photo credit: Tim Deegan

Traversing this complex city is now much more clean and effortless as its increasingly multicultural citizenry combines train, bus, auto and even the centuries-old river taxi system to achieve an optimum blend of comfort and efficiency – both in terms of time and usage of natural resources. Greatly reduced is the need for a dated network of iconic yet loud and filthy “tuk tuks”  for which Bangkok was once known. In its place is a much more productive & satisfied populace enjoying an enhanced quality of life and clearer skies.

Bangkok is truly a testament to the fact that it is never too late to do the right thing, that biting the bullet and sacrificing now for the long-term is the right thing to do. And that if you think an education is expensive, try ignorance. Most nightmares end once you wake up.

Posted by: loomisisc | October 22, 2010

Why is Sumitomo Corp. Sponsoring the Women in Transit Seminar?

Sumitomo Corporation of America, the lead contractor in HRFG, will be the sole sponsor of the October 27th Women in Transit Seminar breakfast, where Congresswoman Mazie Hirono will be the keynote speaker.  WTS-Hawaii is the newest WTS chapter being approved by WTS International in August.

Gino Antoniello is pictured here with one of the winning teams from Waipahu High School at the Science Fair, which was also sponsored by Sumitomo earlier this year.

Why is Sumitomo Corp. sponsoring the WTS? Because SCOA believes the Honolulu Rail Transit system will provide career opportunities for Hawaii, not just for men, but for women in the engineering and transit field as well.

The HRFG booth drew hundreds of students at last Friday’s UH College of Engineering Career Day – many of them female students.

UH senior, Laura Do told us, “Rail transit is going to be huge! It’s going to change history and how we commute.  It would be amazing to be a part of it.”

Another UH senior, Wendy Yuen explained, “Growing up in Hawaii, traffic has always been a problem.  Rail will help traffic and be an interesting project for UH graduates to work on.”

Regine Gonzales, a UH foreign exchange student from the Philippines told us how the EDSA rail in Manila helped alleviate traffic congestion. “It changed my life. Manila has lots of traffic. I’m excited to learn that Sumitomo built that elevated rail system.  It gets us from point A to point B faster than trucks or taxis and it’s safer,” she said.

Gino Antoniello speaks with an interested student at the fall UH College of Engineering Career Day.

During the career fair, UH student Tylynn Ai renewed her acquaintance with Gino Antoniello, VP of Transportation Systems and Equipment for Sumitomo Corp., whom she first met at the Hawaii Academy of Science “Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair” earlier this year.  She recognized Antoniello as one of the Celebrity Judges at the fair.

Antoniello encouraged female students to pursue their dreams of being involved in a career in transit.  “I have two daughters, and they are interested in careers in the sciences.  So between my career and their aspirations, how can we not support WTS?” said Antoniello with a smile.

 

UH student says, "rail changed my life in Manila." Gino Antoniello, Vice President of Transportation Systems and Equipment, is seen here with some of the hundreds of eager Engineering students who stopped by to learn about jobs through rail.

"When will rail start?" ask UH students at Engineer School Career Fair. Gino Antoniello, VP, Transportation Systems and Equipment, Sumitomo Corp. gave students a clear understanding of the broad range of careers open to them through rail and SCOA's involvement in other segments of economic development such as renewable energy and real estate.

Posted by: loomisisc | October 12, 2010

HRFG: listening and responding to Oahu’s needs

 

Image and story credit: Smart Planet

 

A wonderful story about engineering with an eye to what the community really needs and the importance of listening and responding to those needs. The HRFG’s plan to work with public schools in West Oahu to prepare students for careers in rail is a good example of listening and responding with good, community-based long term solutions.

Posted by: loomisisc | September 22, 2010

Resurecting history

Behind the brush on the Leeward side is a hidden treasure. The Hawaiian Railway Society is dedicated to restoring and preserving Hawaii’s railroading history.  Their rides tour the historic rail track stretching from Ewa to Nanakuli.

Thirty years after the old locomotive was granted its Hawaii Chapter status of the National Railway Historical Society, we look at a new era in Hawaii’s history: the Honolulu Rail Transit system.

Cheers to being a part of this historical rail revival.

Posted by: loomisisc | September 16, 2010

Congrats! An achievement in Miami

Congrats to Sumitomo, the lead partner in HRFG, for landing on the front page of the Miami Herald!

The story features the opening of Sumitomo’s Skytrain in Miami airport.  “Five four-car trains — which can carry 9,000 passengers per hour” — have been set on its tracks and opened to Miami Airport’s travelers.  The Skytrain connects the airport’s 60 gates and saves travelers the exhaustion of running from gate-to-gate to catch connecting flights. Whew!

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