Before Westside Works and his position as a concrete pourer at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium construction site, Hooker was working in the food service industry with dreams of becoming a chef. Today, he has a new dream – to become a construction site safety coordinator. In the next few weeks, he will be taking the first step towards making that dream a reality with the first in a series of tests to get certified.
Hooker is grateful for the construction skills he learned through the Westside Works program, and finds that it is the intangible lessons that have been the most valuable. From time management to acknowledging there is more to learn, Hooker is always ‘striving to be the best.’
Since beginning his job on the stadium site, Hooker has learned a variety of industry skills.
“I just love learning different trades,” Hooker said, “Even though I’m in concrete, I like to help out the carpenters in our company as well.”
For Hooker, it goes beyond simply construction. This job has given his life a new direction and he plans on pursuing his construction career beyond this project.
“I love my job. I love it. There is nowhere else I’d want to be,” Hooker said, “I make good money. I have good hours. I’m around good people.”
In two years, the stadium will be complete and Hooker will take pride in having contributed to his community and changing the Atlanta skyline in the process.
“I was born and raised here, and I want to come back in 20 years and tell my daughter and show my daughter that ‘That’s what daddy did,’” Hooker said.