Training at Westside Works Offered Miguel Boozer a New Career and an Advantage in the Job Market

Before he enrolled in Construction Ready in late 2017, Miguel Boozer had no construction experience. Four weeks later, he had earned eight credentials – at no monetary cost to him – and a job offer from Anning-Johnson Company. Less than two years later, he was installing ceilings and learning more each day as an apprentice in the company’s in-house training program.

Miguel’s story is a prime example of how one can build a promising construction career in a relatively short time – even with no prior background in the industry. For Miguel, the fast-track preparation offered by Construction Ready was invaluable.

“Instead of going through a trade school, you have the opportunity to learn the trade without having to go through all the financial work and all the paperwork,” says Miguel, an Atlanta native who previously worked in warehousing.

Miguel learned about Construction Ready from two relatives – a cousin, Edward Castine, and an uncle, Malik Woods, who preceded him in graduating at the program’s Westside Works location. He completed Construction Ready at Westside Works in December 2017 and immediately went to work as a laborer for Anning-Johnson.

Miguel (in white shirt) has adapted well to the work of ceiling installation with Anning-Johnson Company.

“Miguel worked as a laborer for almost one year, which took a lot of patience and perseverance on his end,” Anning-Johnson Operations Administrator Edwin Parra says. “He was on a project that had strict security clearances, and his role, though entry level, was vital to the success of the project, which made replacing him in that role difficult. Ultimately this resulted in Miguel working the labor position longer than he normally would have.

“Miguel was eventually accepted into our in-house training program and has consistently done a good job,” Parra continues. “He has learned to walk stilts and found a niche for himself by becoming familiar with the high-demand ceiling installation and stilts skillsets. Miguel has a great attitude and fits in great with our team.”

Miguel also brought some unique skill sets to his job: He’s a personal fitness trainer and a portrait artist.

“I try to stay in shape, which helps with balance in stilt walking,” he says. “And I get to be creative. I’m an artist, so looking at how different buildings come together, the process from start to finish, is very intriguing to me. It’s very satisfying to see [a finished project) and to see how the people react to what I have accomplished.”

Now in existence for more than five years, Construction Ready has hundreds of graduates who happily attest to the program’s value. Word-of-mouth recommendations, such as those Miguel heard from his cousin and uncle, abound. And he’s prepared to offer his endorsement as well.

“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,” he says. “All the credentials, the OSHA 10, NCCER, First Aid – all that kind of gave us the upper hand. I would tell anyone to go do it. I had a good experience. As long as you stay focused, you can go far.”

Parra confirms that Miguel is indeed positioned to go far in his new career.

“Miguel is patient and learns very quickly,” he says. “Those two traits will enable him to pursue rewarding opportunities with our company. He understands that he has to put in the work, while being patient with the process to be successful at anything. Miguel can take this opportunity as far as he would like. I see no limits to his future.”

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