Single Mom Completes Build Cobb Program, Begins Career with Anning-Johnson Company

Claudia Castro is a 25-year-old single mom. She graduated high school but her pursuit of college and a career took a back seat to the joys and demands of raising a child alone.

Claudia took a part-time, weekends-only job and spent her days at the local library researching career options. The only problem was she needed a degree to qualify for a career and she needed the money now! Then she saw a flyer about the Build Cobb class.

She was hesitant to enter a seemingly male-dominated industry but the earning potential was worth it, and she was ready to work hard to get it!

Claudia graduated top of her class with a grade of 104 and was hired by Anning-Johnson Company. “The best part of my new career is being able to pay my bills and spend the weekends with my son too,” she says.

Build Cobb Partnership, is a collaboration of CobbWorks, Inc., The Collective at Cumberland Community Church, the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (CEFGA) and HB Next. The program provides an intensive four-week construction skills training class along with job placement assistance.

The initiative came about after recent reports by construction sector experts identified an immediate, real-world need for more workers with construction-related skills. In response, CobbWorks, Cobb’s workforce development non-profit agency, worked with its partners to implement this short-term, community-based model for fast-tracked, scalable construction workforce training.

The primary goals of the Build Cobb Partnership project include:

  1. 1)   Create a demand-driven pipeline of workers with construction-related skills to help address the current and future workforce needs of local businesses and support economic development efforts in our Cobb community;
  2. 2)   Provide eligible trainees with skills to become quickly employed in a growth-oriented, career-laddered job;
  3. 3)   Promote the continued education, and thus career and pay progression, of training graduates through enrollment in post-secondary educational programs, advanced skill training opportunities, registered apprenticeships, etc.;
  4. 4)   Utilize the project to help inclusively coordinate organizations, programs and resources within the geographic area of the project to support positive community development.

As of September 2015, two class cycles saw a total of 34 graduates with 100% job placement at program completion.  Build Cobb Partnership considers all of the graduates as success stories but below are two standouts from the second class cycle.

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