A Head Start on a Construction Career

CEFGA is building a sustainable talent pipeline for the construction industry by offering entry-level construction training through its NCCER-accredited and nationally recognized Construction Ready Program. Since its inception in June 2014, Construction Ready program has trained and placed more than 1,000 students into full-time employment in the construction industry.

The four-week program—free to eligible applicants who reside in metropolitan Atlanta—screens and trains students for entry-level jobs. Earning up to eight industry-recognized credentials, Construction Ready graduates are drug-free, trained, credentialed and motivated to work.

Graduates are connected to Atlanta-area construction companies who participate in the Construction Ready program. Most Construction Ready students have never been on a construction site, but that’s not an obstacle if the student is willing to learn and work hard. Hundreds have come to Construction Ready with no experience and now have full-time careers in the industry. Others, who may have worked construction before, can benefit from every aspect of the program as well—from the hands-on training to the credentials they earn to the professional skills they gain, such as resume writing and interviewing skills.

 

A Head Start on a Construction Career

CEFGA is building a sustainable talent pipeline for the construction industry by offering entry-level construction training through its NCCER-accredited and nationally recognized Construction Ready Program. Since its inception in June 2014, Construction Ready program has trained and placed more than 1,000 students into full-time employment in the construction industry.

The four-week program—free to eligible applicants who reside in metropolitan Atlanta—screens and trains students for entry-level jobs. Earning up to eight industry-recognized credentials, Construction Ready graduates are drug-free, trained, credentialed and motivated to work.

Graduates are connected to Atlanta-area construction companies who participate in the Construction Ready program. Most Construction Ready students have never been on a construction site, but that’s not an obstacle if the student is willing to learn and work hard. Hundreds have come to Construction Ready with no experience and now have full-time careers in the industry. Others, who may have worked construction before, can benefit from every aspect of the program as well—from the hands-on training to the credentials they earn to the professional skills they gain, such as resume writing and interviewing skills.

 

Construction Ready Sites and Participating Counties Map

Construction Ready Sites Map

Construction Ready Industry-Recognized Credentials

  • National Center for Construction Education Research (NCCER) “Core”

  • OSHA 10-Hour

  • First Aid/CPR/BB/AED

  • Powder Actuated Tool

  • Laser Tool

  • Forklift Safety Awareness

  • A.T.S.S.A. Utility Flagger Certification

  • Competent Person Training in Fall Protection

Success Stories

Steve Pierre-Louis

Steven Pierre Louis got a new start in Atlanta—and, with the help of CEFGA, an unexpected career with MG Electric.

Steve Pierre-Louis

When Steve Pierre-Louis moved from Long Island, N.Y., to Atlanta, he was looking for a fresh start. He got that, and much more: A new career to which he is thoroughly committed. Steve graduated from Construction Ready at Build Cobb in June 2019. Then, through IEC (Independent Electrical Contractors) Atlanta, he landed a job with Alpharetta-based MG Electric.

Read the full story

Cadeau Freeman

An engineering degree and Construction Ready training make Cadeau Freeman a valuable asset for The Home Depot.

Cadeau Freeman

Cadeau Freeman wasn’t looking for a career in the construction industry; she already held a mechanical engineering degree from Kennesaw State University and simply wanted a job that was more aligned with that background.

But when an auspicious sequence of events led her to CEFGA’s Construction Ready training, she emerged with an impressive resume that ultimately resulted in a contract job as an engineering technician at The Home Depot’s Atlanta headquarters.

Read the full story

Michael Hood

In 2014 Michael Hood enrolled in Construction Ready at Westside Works; six years later, he’s still with the same company, Skyline Forming.

Michael Hood

Back in late 2014 and early 2015, Michael Hood found himself caught between two opposing forces: The familiarity – and danger – of street life, and the potential of a new career in construction.

Construction Ready was a new program at the time, offered initially at Westside Works beginning in the summer of 2014. Living in Westside Atlanta and “hanging with the wrong people,” Michael learned about Construction Ready from some fellow community residents who had graduated from it.

Read the full story

Dontavious Green

With a newfound career—“not just a job”—Bryson Constructors’ Dontavious Green is excited to go to work every day.

Dontavious Green

Dontavious Greene makes an insightful analogy in explaining his view of CEFGA’s Construction Ready and Construction Ready PLUS programs.

Construction Ready, Dontavious says, “was a jumpstart to a career – like putting battery cables on a battery and giving it that boost.” In Construction Ready PLUS, the advanced curriculum for graduates who have been employed for at least 90 days, “it’s like putting the car in drive and now you’re [moving forward] in your career.”

Read the full story

Metrics

0%
Placement of Graduates since 2017
0 Days
from Graduation to Industry Placement
0%
of Graduates Still Employed after 365 Days
0
Average Age of Graduates
0
Total Program Graduates since 2014
0
Placements into Full Time, Living Wage Careers since 2014
up to: $0
per hour in Starting Pay for Graduates
0M+
in Wages Earned by Graduates since 2014

Graduate Quotes

After that class, I felt better about myself. Now when anything comes to mind that I want to do, I will always complete it. Quitting is not an option anymore.

Corey Prothro, Westside Works

When I started, I would tell [co-workers] I have these credentials, and they would be like, ‘Where did you get that from?’ Because a lot of people have to pay for those things. So I’m happy that I was able to get them for free. All I had to do was dedicate my time to it.

Katanga Yasa, Build Cobb

It’s like a door to a new level opened to me, which I never could have seen had I not come through this program. I would still be looking at lower-level, entry-level work. It has helped me broaden my future opportunities.

Rotell Hitchcock, Georgia Hill

The basics we learned in Construction Ready prepped us and made us a lot more advanced than someone coming into a construction job with no experience at all. All the credentials … gave us the upper hand.

Miguel Boozer, Westside Works

It seems like when you put that OSHA 10 on there, and all these other credentials, people take you more seriously. They don’t look at you like you’re just another person coming for a job; they understand that you took time to get trained.

Charles Leach, Georgia Hill

Construction Ready changed my life. There’s opportunity out there, and Construction Ready is the best way to take advantage of that.

Khalil Davis, Westside Works

From Construction Ready Students to CEFGA Team Members

Daniel Jean-Baptiste
Tosha Ford
Bryan Ayiteyfio

Left to Right: Daniel Jean-Baptiste, Tosha Ford and Bryan Ayiteyfio.

Through Construction Ready, more than 1,000 men and women have been placed into full-time jobs in the industry. For three of those graduates, the relationship with CEFGA continued well beyond their four weeks of training—they’re now members of the CEFGA staff.

Brian Ayiteyfio (Westside Works Group 8) and Daniel Jean-Baptiste (Build Cobb Group 18) are Construction Ready Site Managers. Tosha Ford (Aerotropolis Group 4) started in that role and is now an Outreach & Recruiting Specialist.

Ayiteyfio initially worked for another company, serving in a safety role during the construction of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Now he’s “come all the way back to where I started, in a way,” he says. “I tell my friends, ‘I’m working for this organization that brought me into the construction industry. It’s amazing.”

Working for CEFGA, Ford says, is “definitely a blessing. It’s a way of giving back every day. That’s kind of built into the job, and it means a lot more after having gone through the program as a student. Talking to a student or a potential trainee, I feel like my credibility is enhanced in a way.”

Adds Jean-Baptiste: “Going through Construction Ready training has improved my life immensely by providing me financial stability and opening me up to a new and exciting career. I enjoy helping people start new careers and change their lives. I also enjoy watching CEFGA grow, connect and build positive foundations in our communities.”

Employer Quotes

They have the certifications, they have the basic construction knowledge down pat, they know how important safety is. They come with a willingness to learn. The trainers are top-notch. There’s not a guy we’ve gotten from Construction Ready who is unprepared or as green as someone who might have come from somewhere else. There is no ceiling for them once they get this training.

Bryson Barnes, Bryson Constructors

As a commercial construction company, Construction Ready training is very valuable to us. Not only does it give our new hires some of the licenses and credentials they need (which saves us time on training them ourselves), it also gives them a feel for working with a team to achieve a common goal. Those are the type of people we look for when we are hiring. I’d much rather hire someone through CEFGA with all those classes under his or her belt than someone who walks into the office with zero exposure or experience.

Ricky Buchanan, The Circle Group

CEFGA Partners with Sweetwater Mission to Expand the Impact of Construction Ready

Sweetwater Mission recently began a partnership with CEFGA to help provide candidates for Construction Ready training, and ultimately to host Construction Ready classes at a new training facility at its Austell, Georgia home.

The mission has served at-risk residents of Cobb, Douglas and Paulding Counties for more than 50 years by providing food, clothing, hygiene products and educational services. In 2019, Sweetwater Mission announced an expansion of its existing Education Center. To be known as the Transformation Center, the new facility will offer an array of courses, training and job skills, including Construction Ready classes.

“This is a great opportunity for Sweetwater Mission to go beyond stabilizing families with food, by helping them with the education needed to become self-reliant and gaining their self-respect.”

Pat Soden, Executive Director, Sweetwater Mission

Construction Ready PLUS

Construction Ready PLUS is a 16-week curriculum, taught on Saturdays, that gives Construction Ready graduates (who have been employed full-time at least 90 days) the tools, knowledge and skills they need to take their careers to a higher level. Through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on projects, students can earn seven advanced credentials in Construction Ready PLUS, which is made possible by a grant from The Home Depot Foundation.

Metrics

0
Construction Ready PLUS classes held since Inception
0
Total Construction Ready PLUS Graduates
$0
Average Hourly Pay, Post-Graduation
$0
Average Increase in Hourly Wages, Post-Graduation

Construction Ready PLUS Credentials

  • OSHA 30-hour

  • Advanced Blueprint Reading

  • Intro to Construction Project Layout

  • Advanced Hand & Power Tool Operations

  • Career Pathways

  • NCCER Crew Leadership

  • Advanced Financial Literacy

Construction Ready PLUS Projects Benefit Local Communities

Construction Ready PLUS students are gaining valuable hands-on experience while helping local communities as well. In February 2020, for example, Construction Ready PLUS Group 3 built an 8×8 storage shed for the Boys and Girls Club’s Partners in Action for Healthy Living in Decatur.

The shed, which the class constructed at CEFGA’s Westside Works location, was the latest project to benefit a local Boys and Girls Club. Construction Ready PLUS classes also have built a storage shed, a dumpster enclosure and an arbor at the Salvation Army Bellwood Boys and Girls Club.

NEXT: K12 Pipeline