Gene Grisby’s title at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium construction site is Construction Masonry Laborer, but what some may not know is that he is also an ordained minister with a history in social work.
Before beginning the Westside Works program and working on the stadium, Grisby was working for United Way as a peer specialist helping homeless veterans get off the street. An experience that was rewarding, but lacked the stability that Grisby’s current position provides.
In its own way, working on the construction site is a form of ministry for Grisby. Communicating with other workers and helping them overcome many of the challenges they are facing in their lives is one way Grisby gives back to his community.
In the evenings, after a full day at the stadium site, Grisby is taking classes towards his masters in biblical science. Balancing the classes with a full time job and a wife at home may be difficult, but Grisby is grateful for the support he has received from his supervisors at the construction site.
“They don’t question me about it,” Grisby said, “I have been out here since last year. I’ve never been written up and never had any confrontations with anybody.”
Grisby was part of the first graduating class of Westside Works and helped to set a high bar for all the other graduates who are following in his footsteps.
“It’s like you’re putting a mark there. You’re part of the hands that are helping this place grow,” Grisby said, “I’m just one of many – I take off my hat for these guys because there’s been a lot going on and they’ve been doing it.“