Construction Ready Helped Jude Choo-Hen Discover an Intense Interest in Safety Compliance
As a bank examiner in his native Guyana, Jude Choo-Hen was deeply involved in compliance work. He left banking years ago, but today, as a Construction Ready graduate, he’s rekindled an interest in compliance.
“I enjoy the compliance aspect of the work because I initially I started my first job at the Central Bank of Guyana as a compliance officer,” Jude says. “I’ve always done that, making sure the company was compliant with whatever regulations are in place. From the Construction Ready program, I found safety issues appealing because I can apply those same skills to a different industry.”
After earning the OSHA 10 credential through Construction Ready, Jude built on that knowledge with the OSHA 30 training offered by the advanced Construction Ready PLUS curriculum. He now has his sights set on obtaining additional OSHA training that would enable him to become an OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 teacher himself.
Jude works as a technician for NexGen Utility Solutions, an Alpharetta-based company serving energy utilities, communications companies and OEM device manufacturers. When his initial job placement through Construction Ready didn’t work out (he was one of the first graduates from the program’s Build Cobb location in 2016), he found work in an Amazon warehouse. In 2020, he reached out to CEFGA for help and was connected to NexGen while also taking advantage of the free Construction Ready PLUS classes.
Jude, who lives in Kennesaw with his wife, a city planner, moved to Atlanta in 2016. He had immigrated to the U.S. a decade earlier to be near his parents in New Jersey.
Jude’s work with NexGen involves installation, reading and verification of meters for Georgia Power, including a new generation of high-tech smart readers.
“When I first came to Georgia it was difficult, because I was new to the state and I learned you have to network a lot,” Jude says. ““Construction Ready and Construction Ready PLUS have made a difference in my career because they have facilitated me in getting a job.”
Thanks to CEFGA’s extensive contacts in the industry, Construction Ready graduates have access to a ready-made network of potential job opportunities. Those contacts, combined with the classroom and hands-on training they receive, and the credentials they earn, are a definite advantage for job seekers in the industry. And as Jude’s story illustrates, a student just might discover an affinity for a particular aspect of construction in the process.
“Construction Ready has made me a lot more informed of what goes on in construction, and it’s reinforced my understanding of safety issues,” he says. “They really make you conscious of having a safe work environment. I decided to [enroll in] Construction Ready PLUS primarily because I wanted to continue with the OSHA training. It also introduces supervisory skills, so that’s like a building block for moving up in the industry.”
Watch Jude discuss his career below, and learn more about Construction Ready at constructionready.org.