Rotell Hitchcock Found ‘a New Door to a New Level’ of Work through Construction Ready
Prospective students come to Construction Ready through all manner of contacts, from friends and relatives to community organizations to printed and digital marketing materials.
Of course, CEFGA staff members help spread the word as well, and a key figure in those initial introductions is often Student Success Manager Veda White. She was Rotell Hitchcock’s first point of contact with the program, and as he tells it, that connection was clearly meant to be.
“As soon as I touched down here in Atlanta, I was starting over and staying at a shelter and trying to find employment,” recalls Rotell, who relocated from Athens seeking a fresh start in life. “I went to pretty much every site you can think for temporary services. I met Veda White one time at First Step Staffing and she was telling me about Construction Ready. I got her contacts, but I couldn’t follow through at the time because of my living situation.
“I was going through programs at the Atlanta Mission, where I was staying,” he continues. “They sent me to ACSS, Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency, where they help people get established, and through that I saw her again. It was like, ‘This has gotta be fate,’ and I signed up and I’ve been on this road ever since.”
Rotell was starting over in Atlanta, but he brought a variety of work experience with him, including experience in demolition and site cleanup, painting and warehousing. After completing Construction Ready in March 2019, he was hired by MOPAC Plant & Building Services, an Atlanta-based provider of facility maintenance services to industrial, government and large commercial customers throughout the Southeast.
Construction Ready, Rotell says, “helped me look past the entry level and more to the technical side. Now I feel like Superman, like when I’m looking at a site or a structure, I have X-Ray vision on how things are set up.”
Rotell has focused on roofing and concrete work so far, and he’s embraced the variety of job assignments and learning opportunities that have come with his new career.
“I enjoy the flexibility of the schedule,” he says. “My clock varies daily. Whatever the job is, that’s going to be my schedule for the day, then when that job is over, the next schedule is going to kick in.
“I’m learning pretty much every day,” he adds, “especially when I’m dealing with something new or I’m running into a situation where I need to find a solution together with the rest of my team.”
Rotell’s education has continued while off the clock as well; he entered CEFGA’s Construction Ready PLUS program in January 2020. These Saturday sessions are valuable not only for advancing hands-on and leadership skills – they also enable students to learn from one another as each brings a variety of experiences in from his or her weekday job.
“It all about meeting good people and learning about what they do, to see how I can use that in my field,” Rotell says.
While his pursuit of a new start in Atlanta came with its share of challenges, Rotell is thriving today. And the future looks even brighter, thanks to his positive attitude and work ethic, and the thorough preparation CEFGA has given him through Construction Ready.
“It has helped change my life a whole lot,” he says. “It’s like a new 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.”
VIDEO: Roofing and concrete specialist Rotell Hitchcock discusses the impact of Construction Ready on his life, and the satisfaction he gets from his work with MOPAC. Learn more about Construction Ready at constructionready.us, and follow us on our YouTube channel to hear from other successful Construction Ready graduates.