Like many recent high school graduates, Derrick Mosley had a choice to make – go to college or get a job that would provide for him and his family. As his graduation date from Fredrick Douglass High School approached, a teacher introduced Westside Works as an option. Derrick applied immediately.
Upon completion of the four-week construction training program, Mosley was brought on as an electrician apprentice at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. For Mosley, this is more than an opportunity to work, it is a way to silence and overcome the influences of his past telling him what he couldn’t do and couldn’t become.
“I’m very energetic,” Mosley said, “There isn’t anything I can’t do if you teach me how to do it – I want to be a foreman. If you teach me how to read the prints or do anything, I am going to be able to do it. I’m going to pay attention and do my best at it.”
This attitude has already made a positive impression on the people he works with. According to Darrell Messer, the lead electrician, he’s the worker you want in the field and “his head is in his work and he is always doing the right thing.” James Williams, Mosley’s supervisor on the job site agreed.
“He always does what you ask him to do,” Williams said, “Anytime you need somebody to help on the weekends, he’s always available. Pretty much what you want an apprentice to be, he is.”
Mosley has a long road ahead of him to becoming a foreman. The electrician apprenticeship program is five years long and requires multiple classes and testing throughout. Although he keeps to himself, going from home to work and staying out of trouble, Mosley has recommended Westside Works to friends from the neighborhood.
“All you do is sign up and try it out,” Mosley said, “I got two people to and they went through it. I try to explain to them it’s easy and it’s a good program, especially on my side of town.”