It’s Been a Long Road, but Dante Colbert Has Endured to Realize a Career in Construction
For example, he once had the winning entry in a scale model bridge building competition.
“The first time I picked up a hammer, I think I just realized I wanted to work with my hands,” says Dante, who grew up in Oakland, California.
Dante took a community college class in carpentry and ultimately hoped to earn an engineering degree, but financial issues prevented him from finishing his studies.
Still, he continued pursuing his passion, gaining experience in everything from cabinetry to brickwork to asphalt.
His progress was halted again after he moved to Atlanta in 2015 to pursue a business venture. When the plan didn’t work out, he found himself in another tight spot financially. Determined to overcome this latest obstacle, Dante sought out local job assistance resources. At the Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency (ACSS), he learned about CEFGA’s Construction Ready program.
“My vision has always been there, the drive has always been there, it’s just been difficult as far as finances go,” Dante says. “I felt like I had to really focus on getting my life together, and the only way I could think of to do that was to go back to what I was passionate about, and that was construction. When the opportunity for Construction Ready came, to go through that and get certified in so many different areas, I knew that was what I was going to do. I’m thankful for the opportunity.”
Dante completed Construction Ready at the program’s Aerotropolis location in November 2018. He was immediately hired by Flintco, a full-service construction company that serves a broad range of markets around the Southeast.
Ever the learner – “I’ve always tried to get educated so I can sustain myself,” he says – Dante credits Construction Ready with giving him renewed confidence in his skills.
“I had the feeling that I did pretty well in the interview,” he recalls. “I was asked what I wanted to do and I talked about my prior experience and that I wanted to get back into construction. I said I didn’t want to bite off more than I could handle, that I wanted to come in and work my way up.”
Dante has been assigned to a variety of jobs with Flintco, including concrete work, carpentry, rigging, banding and stacking forms. Whatever the task, he says he looks forward to it every day.
“I love construction and I love the job that I do,” he says. “I feel like I’m truly blessed, given the circumstances that brought me to this place in my life. I was down and looking for an opportunity where I could sustain myself, and I just kind of made a plan and stuck to it. It truly is a blessing that I’ve been able to achieve this goal – to achieve my dream, really.”