Seeking a Career Change, Miketa Grant Found “a Life Changer,” Thanks to CEFGA
One factor that’s made CEFGA’s Construction Ready training so successful is it can prepare a student – even one with no prior construction experience – for a new career in a relatively short period of time.
That certainly was the case for Miketa Grant after she enrolled in Construction Ready at Westside Works. Most of her prior work experience was as a leasing agent in an apartment complex. She was a stay-at-home mom (three children, including 11-year-old twins) when she enrolled in Westside Works’ first night curriculum in November 2016. She came out two months later with a job offer from Marek, a commercial drywall and ceiling company.
“I was online looking for a job when I came across a listing for the class,” Miketa says. “I just wanted to do something different, something I had never done before. I’m a hands-on learner and I thought, ‘I can do this. I can see myself in a hard hat.’”
Miketa wore that hard hat initially as a general laborer when Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium was under construction. She quickly realized she wanted to do more. “I didn’t want to just sweep and throw trash away,” she recalls, “so I started doing other things – helping out with paperwork, just putting myself out there as someone who works hard. If you don’t take the initiative, nobody else will.”
Her supervisor recognized her efforts. When another manager asked if he could send someone to help at Marek’s airport warehouse location, he picked Miketa.
“I was the only female there, so I brought a female to touch to it,” she says with a laugh. “Now it’s all organized and labeled, and I know exactly where everything is. The job is never boring because it’s something new every day. You get to see your progress. You do a job one day, then you come in the next day and do something new. It keeps me on my toes. I’m a hands-on learner, so as I get to touch materials, I learn what everything is and now I can tell just by looking what each piece is. It’s second nature now.”
Miketa continues to learn on the job at her latest posting with Marek, at an NCG facility in Newton County. She also continues to benefit from her Construction Ready classroom work.
“Sometimes I’ll have a flashback from class, like, ‘Oh, I remember when they said this.’ One thing they said to me was that as a woman, men may try to trick me and say things that aren’t real, like, ‘Where’s the plumb bob oil?’ So you’ll be running around looking for the plumb bob oil, and then you realize there’s no such thing. You have to have a tough skin being in a predominately male field. You can’t be a crybaby. But I’ve never felt uncomfortable – I feel like everybody I work with is mature and respects me as a co-worker.
“Construction Ready led me to a career and gave me a trade that nobody can ever take from me,” she adds. “Anybody who’s thinking about a new career should give Construction Ready a chance, because it is definitely a life changer.”
VIDEO: Watch as Miketa shares how CEFGA training opened doors to a new career, and follow us on our YouTube channel to meet more Construction Ready graduates.