Alfred Murphy Has a Long-Term Plan for Career Success

As a truck driver with Marietta-based Baldwin Paving Company, Alfred Murphy engages in rugged, hands-on work every day. But he also has a strong cerebral side. In fact, one might even call him a visionary. He recognizes the opportunities before him and sees the big picture in it all – and it’s set him on a clearly defined path to success.

“There are a lot of opportunities out there,” Alfred says. “But a lot of people don’t do anything in life because they don’t see those opportunities and they don’t have anything to believe in.”

Alfred sees his future, and it shows him working as a certified diesel technician. Why diesel? Because he wants to work on engines, and as he looked around, he noticed diesel power seems to endure, even as other technologies come and go. He’s also encouraged by the salary numbers he sees when researching jobs in the industry.

When Alfred learned about CEFGA’s Construction Ready program at a career fair, he didn’t immediately see a connection with his plan. “In my mind I was going to work on tractor-trailers, so I didn’t want to waste my time on a construction site,” he recalls. But he was ready for a change after working a long line of fast-food jobs, and his imam had advised him to seek more education, so he decided to give it a shot.

“Instead of having a mentality that the right job is going to come to me, I decided I needed to take the initiative,” he says.

That initiative paid off when Alfred went through Construction Ready at TCWFI (The Center for Working Families) in late 2017. Among several job offers was one from Baldwin, which he discovered uses diesel-powered vehicles, and has its own shop to service them.

“In Construction Ready I learned the field is so broad, and then I saw that connection with diesel when Baldwin came through the door,” he says.

Alfred initially went to work on a Baldwin labor crew. But he already held a Class A CDL license, and after five months, he was given the keys to a flatbed dump truck, which he uses to assist crews by moving materials and debris on job sites. Meanwhile he continues his education by attending Atlanta Area Tech, where he’s enrolled in a diploma program for Diesel Equipment Technology.

Alfred didn’t always have such a clear long-range perspective. “I made a lot of mistakes,” he says. “I got on the straight path about four years ago and have just been trying to rebuild my life.”

Now 34, he’s well on his way to doing that, and he’s grateful to CEFGA for helping change his outlook. In fast food, he says, “You find a lot of people there are not pursuing a career. It’s just a job. In Construction Ready, they help you understand that you are entering the first stage of a career. If you just want a job, then this program isn’t for you.”

Alfred also appreciates CEFGA’s willingness to accept students like him who need a second chance.

“I had a criminal background that I felt was holding me back, but they helped me see that doesn’t have to be an obstacle if I want to succeed,” he says. “One thing about a mistake, regardless of what it is, it’s still another chance to succeed. It’s just a bump in the road. If you see it as the end of the road, you’re never going to get anywhere. But if you look it at like there’s still time left, then it’s an opportunity to learn and move on from it. Construction Ready was a big part of helping me realize that.”

So Alfred is out there working hard, studying hard and moving forward, step by step, on his self-designed career path. And he’s enjoying every minute of it.

“I love my job,” he says. “I can honestly say when I’m on the clock, I look at these people like, ‘You’re really going to pay me to do this?’”

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VIDEO: Alfred talks about how Construction Ready helped him recognize and take advantage of career opportunities. See more Construction Ready graduates on our YouTube channel.

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