Corney Pressley Has Made the Most of Every Lesson Learned to Fashion a Rapidly Advancing Career

Construction Ready has changed hundreds of lives over its five-plus years of existence. But the program, though it comes at no monetary cost to students, is in no way a free ride. Participants must adhere to certain standards of conduct and professionalism. And as Corney Pressley learned, the closer one pays attention and applies the lessons learned, the more likely he or she is to succeed.

“Construction Ready really put me in a mode to stay focused,” says Corney, an April 2019 graduate of Construction Ready at Georgia Hill. “[The instructors] said, ‘If you listen to what we’re telling you, you’ll make it in the construction field.’ You’ve got to be on time and pay attention to everything they say. Everything they taught me, I took it to heart and applied it. That’s what I really got out of it.”

Corney moved from Pensacola, Florida to Atlanta in early 2019, uncertain of what kind of work he would do, but ready for a change of scenery and a fresh start. He soon learned about Construction Ready. He had no formal training, but his grandfather had worked in construction and it sounded like something he might enjoy, so he signed up.

The decision was, indeed, a life-changer for him.

“It’s made a big difference in my life,” he says. “When I got here, I was lost and looking for something to do. I didn’t have anything. I told myself I needed to get into [a profession] and take it seriously. It was time to grow up and be a man and take care of responsibilities. I got accepted into Construction Ready and they took me in like a family and showed me the right way.”

Upon graduation, Corney was hired by The Circle Group, an interiors specialty contractor. Starting out as a laborer, he did basic cleanup work, then was promoted to a mechanic role in which he worked on drywall and framing. HOAR Construction, another contractor on the same project (a Hyatt Place hotel), took note of Corney’s work ethic and recruited him to join the company in fall of 2019. He’s now working in a safety role.

“I love that kind of work,” he says. “I make sure everybody stays on task, has their PPE on, make sure they’re tied off, make sure they’ve inspected their equipment.”

After meeting the 90-day requirement for full-time employment, Corney entered CEFGA’s Construction Ready PLUS program and further fed his appetite for learning.

“Mr. [Kelly] Almond tells me things and I go right out there and put it into play,” he says. “I keep it fresh in my mind, so every time I see something where he talked it about it in class, I apply it, and my bosses see it. I still want to learn more, because I know the more I learn, the more I can move up. I really appreciate what CEFGA and HB Next [CEFGA’s training partner in Construction Ready] for what they’ve done for me.”

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VIDEO: Corney discusses what he enjoys about his job with HOAR Construction, and how instrumental Construction Ready was in getting him to this point. Learn more about Construction Ready at constructionready.us, and follow us on our YouTube channel to hear from more successful Construction Ready graduates.

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