D’Anthony Hopkins Found Valuable Takeaways from Construction Ready and Construction Ready PLUS

As CEFGA’s Construction Ready program has grown – in September 2019, it celebrated its 1,000 graduate in just over five years – so has the influence of word-of-mouth to bring in more students.

Successful graduates tell their friends and neighbors about it. They talk about it on the job. And some even convince a family member to give it a try.

For D’Anthony Hopkins, it was just such a family connection that led him to Construction Ready’s Westside Works location.

D’Anthony had some construction experience, including work in concrete, demolition and carpentry. But he was intrigued when his stepfather, DeLeon Weaver, graduated with Westside Works Group 4 in November 2014.

“He was telling me about it,” D’Anthony says, “and I thought, ‘OK, that’s kind of my field, so I want to check it out.’”

Four months later, D’Anthony was a Construction Ready student himself. The training definitely boosted his career – “more experience, more credentials, more money,” he says – and because he came in with prior field experience, he was able to help his fellow classmates as well.

“A lot of people who went through the program, they didn’t really have a lot of experience in construction, so I was lead,” he recalls. “I’m a natural leader, so if I feel like somebody doesn’t know something and I know it, I’ll speak up.”

Construction Ready helped D’Anthony land a job with Cleveland Electric, where he remained for a year. He later moved to Sentry Roofing and worked on the new canopies that are part of renovations to the terminals at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

In September 2019, D’Anthony enrolled in CEFGA’s Construction Ready PLUS program to earn more credentials and take his skills to the next level. The curriculum features more than three months of Saturday classes, including classroom sessions at Westside Works and hands-on projects at an Atlanta-area Boys and Girls Club.

“The hands-on work we do – that’s one of the best teachers there is,” D’Anthony says. “And the opportunity to grow, the leadership lessons, the credentials … Before, I didn’t have an OSHA 30. Now I get to have an OSHA 30. Before I didn’t have Blueprint Reading. Now, reading those blueprints [on a job site] – that’s more money right there. All the little tips and everything – I was telling the others, so many of these things we’re learning, we’re going to be able to take it to the field and use it.”

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