Construction Ready Brought Stability and Focus to Kyree McBride’s Life

For a young person still learning to make his or her way in the world, CEFGA’s Construction Ready program not only offers hands-on training and job opportunities, it enhances a student’s relationship skills and understanding of professionalism along the way.

Kyree McBride is one of those young adults who discovered a sharpened focus through Construction Ready. Barely out of his teens when he enrolled at Westside Works in August 2019, Kyree remembers the program as an altogether new concept for him.

“I was never really into school before,” he recalls. “I had to wake up early, learn how to catch the bus, learn how to catch the train [to arrive at class on time], and all that was different. But it was cool – it was a good experience.”

Kyree, now 22, lived in Flint, Michigan before moving to Atlanta as a teenager. He was residing in Decatur when he learned about Construction Ready from his mother, who was familiar with it through her job in the juvenile court system.

Upon graduation from Construction Ready, Kyree was hired by Western Summit, a builder of water and wastewater treatment facilities and pipelines. He’s learned the ropes of pipe fitting, maintenance and other aspects of the business while on assignment at a City of Atlanta water treatment facility.

“The thing I like most about my job is having the privilege to be a contractor [for this facility],” Kyree says. “I consider it a privilege to get a first-hand look at where all of the water we are using and consuming is coming from.”

The job has enabled Kyree to live on his own for the first time, in a Dekalb County apartment along the Buford Highway corridor.

“Going through Construction Ready has opened my eyes to what the workforce is like,” he says. “I never had a job for more than a year before this. This job has given me stability and keeps me motivated.”

Having achieved an understanding of the basics and a steady job, Kyree in early 2021 took the next logical step for former Construction Ready graduates: Construction Ready PLUS training. Open to graduates who spend a minimum of 90 days in full-time employment with their company, Construction Ready PLUS is a 16-week series of advanced classes that meet on Saturdays.

It’s a considerable commitment for students already working full-time during the week, but graduates say the payoff is well worth the effort. For Kyree, one notable takeaway was a greater understanding of the safety practices he began learning about in Construction Ready, which includes valuable OSHA 10 training. Construction Ready PLUS students earn the equally coveted OSHA 30 credential.

“I feel like Construction Ready PLUS has helped me in many ways,” he says. “It has given me extra credentials to move up in my job. It has also taught me how to work safely and ask more questions about my work. I have something to look forward to every day.”

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