Construction Ready Has Ignited a Passion in Miliam McLoud for a New Career in Electrical Work
Miliam McLoud has a diverse career background, with time spent working as a loan officer and a property manager. But from time to time, he would ponder the idea of a job in construction. Now, thanks to Construction Ready training and a supportive company environment, he’s not only made that career transition, he’s thriving in it.
Miliam (rhymes with William) was hired by Lilburn-based EC Electric, Inc., after graduating from CEFGA’s Construction Ready at Georgia Hill in August 2018. He continued his training by attending and graduating from Construction Ready PLUS in spring of 2019.
Miliam began to seriously consider a career change when the property management company he worked for was sold. Driving for Uber to make ends meet, he was intrigued when he saw an online ad for Construction Ready.
“I was pretty blown away by the potential opportunity to change careers,” he recalls. “I had always been kind of interested in construction in general. At that point, I wasn’t exactly sure which trade I would go into, but I was definitely interested.”
Miliam began work as a helper with EC Electric, where he’s learned how to bend conduit, terminate receptacles and switches, and operate a scissorlift. Drawing on encouragement from his colleagues and the knowledge base his training has provided, he’s gaining in confidence with each passing day on the job.
“What I find is that most people are willing to train and help if you’re interested,” Miliam says. He shares a particular experience that has stuck with him:
“I was on a pretty big site early on and I was working with a journeyman electrician with twenty-some-odd years experience, and I was talking to him about the possibility of this being a career long-term. After about two weeks or so, he pulled me to the side and said, ‘Hey Miliam, I think you’re going to be an electrician. I can see it.’ And that kind of gave me the confidence to keep moving forward.
“That was some time ago,” he continues, “and every now and then, when I’m doing some work, somebody will pass by and they’ll be like, ‘Man, that guy, he’s progressing fast.’ I have a lot more confidence in my ability now, and it’s just a good feeling having people recognize your hard work and see the potential in you.”
With the advanced training and additional credentials offered by the Home Depot Foundation-funded Construction Ready PLUS, Miliam considers the time he spent in Saturday classes a worthwhile investment.
“I think the new credentials will make me more marketable and help my further my career as an electrician,” he says. “With the different modules we go through, I’ve gone back to my job and seen things through a different lens. After we went through site planning, I could look at the other trades on the site and kind of recognize and pick up on key things. And the leadership module has given me a broader perspective on how the whole site works, how the general contractor coordinates the site with the different foremen and the different trades, and how everything goes together.
“A lot of guys that I work with are amazed that not only do I have my OSHA 10, I also have my OSHA 30, and I’m just getting started. I have a lot of certification cards in my wallet, so when the general contractor asks, ‘Does anybody on your crew have their CPR certification?’ or some other type of certification, they’re looking around, and I can say I have it. It just makes me more valuable to my employer.”
Like so many other Construction Ready graduates, Miliam says the program literally changed his life, and he tells others about it every chance he gets.
“Construction Ready came at a pivotal time in my life,” he says. “I was going through some adversity, trying to figure things out, and it came at the right time. I’m an advocate for the program. I think they should continue expanding it wherever they can and get the word out that there are opportunities for people to re-enter the job market and to thrive.”
VIDEO: Miliam McLoud talks about how his Construction Ready and Construction Ready PLUS training prepared him for a new career and boosted his confidence on the job with EC Electric, Inc. Follow us on our YouTube channel to hear from more successful Construction Ready graduates.