Renee Dela Cruz
Class of 1987
By Kellie Ancheta
Renee Dela Cruz has been an electrician for Puna Electric Service for about sixteen years. Since her father owned Puna Electric Service, she and her brother accompanied him on trouble calls and gained hands-on training at an early age. However, she originally planned to become a secretary, like her mother. She worked as a secretary at various offices and law firms, but wasn’t satisfied. She found a job at a locally owned plumbing company, Central Supply, Inc., and after about a year or so, she realized that she was in the wrong profession.
Renee decided to go back to school at the Hawaii Community College and graduated with an Associate degree from their EIMT (Electrical Installation Maintenance Technology). As an electrician, she installs new wiring systems, does remodeling jobs, trouble call repairs and maintains residential, commercial and light industrial systems. These include working on commercial refrigeration systems. She enjoys planning, developing, executing, and completing different types of electrical jobs. She also enjoys having to meet and deal with different customers and tradesmen, and working at different job sites. Renee also has lectured part-time at Hawaii Community College with the EIMT program for the past three years.
As a woman in a male-dominated field, she has experienced some problems, but is encouraged by the great support she receives from the industry. Because an electrician faces the possibility of getting electrocuted or falling when working on high ceilings, creating safe working conditions and gaining work experience are a necessity.
When Renee reminisces about Waiakea High School, she remembers how very patient and professional the staff was with students of all maturity and intellectual levels. She said that she was never really “into” school, never had a 4.0 GPA, or participated in band, sports or the student council. She was one of those who “didn’t fit in”. She advises: “Take heart, those of you who are struggling socially or academically. These, too, will come to pass. As time goes on and your future unfolds, you will find “your place,” too.” However, Waiakea did prepare her for her job through various science and math courses and social interaction opportunities.
Renee and Freddy, her husband of 11 years, are both electricians for different companies. Renee recently received her C-13 Electrical Contracting license in April, with the registered trade name of DC Electrical. They both enjoy traveling and volunteering at New Hope Christian Fellowship-Hilo. She also enjoys participating in her children’s activities. They are Jonah, age 9, and Rysa Lee, age 6, who both attend Waiakeawaena School.