Construction Ready Graduate Brian Ayiteyfio is Back with the Program, Now as a Member of the CEFGA Team
Brian Ayiteyfio sits down to chat with a visitor when a knock comes on the office door. He excuses himself, steps out briefly, then returns to continue the conversation. The source of the interruption: A Construction Ready student who needed his input regarding a conflict with another student.
As a Construction Ready Site Manager who’s also a graduate of the program himself, Brian is well-equipped to maintain peace and keep operations running smoothly.
“Sometimes I’m kind of apprehensive about sharing that I’ve come through the program,” says Brian, who graduated from Construction Ready at Westside Works in May 2015. “Next thing you know, they’re wanting to high-five and be [too chummy]. But it’s like, ‘No, let’s stay professional.’
“I cut my teeth in construction as a safety coordinator,” he continues, “and that’s where my skin got a little thicker. I thought I had some thick skin, but in construction, some people will push you and you have to remember not to take it personally.”
Brian’s professionalism had long been noted by CEFGA staff, who followed his progress prior to his hiring in January 2018. He spent much of that time in a safety position during the construction of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and also worked on a short-term project for Belfor Property Restoration. When the new site manager job opened, Vice President Jamie Buck was happy to see his name among the applicants.
“I thought he would be a great fit for our Construction Ready team,” Buck says. “I remember Brian had always presented himself professionally and did very well in class. I was impressed that he was always on time and always followed up to let us know how he was doing.”
Buck says Brian impressed CEFGA leadership all the way through his final interview, which included a sit-down session with the Construction Ready team to assess how he would interact with future colleagues.
“Brian was passionate about what Construction Ready does, presented himself well and had enough of a sense of humor to fit right in with our team,” Buck remembers. “It is very important that we can form that bond, have the drive and passion for what we do, and interact like a family.”
Indeed, Brian has fit in well. He initially struggled, however, not to put his superiors and co-workers on a pedestal.
“At a time when I needed more job training, the program was here for me, and I looked at [President and CEO] Scott Shelar and Miss Jamie Buck like they’re on another level,” he says. “I knew Veda White [Construction Ready Student Success Manager] from when she worked [for another company] at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and she was great – always available and welcoming and kind. I’m trying to learn to look at them as just regular people.”
Brian studied public policy at Georgia State University, but was having trouble finding work when he saw a local TV spot about Construction Ready. Three years later, he’s come full circle – “all the way back to where I started, in a way,” he says. “It’s a blessing. I used to be in these seats. I’m able to tell my friends, ‘I’m working for this [organization] that brought me into the construction industry. It’s amazing, and I’m happy to be here.”
Brian is one of two Construction Ready graduates on the CEFGA staff, the other being Outreach & Recruitment specialist Tosha Ford. As Buck points out, “CEFGA is always watching our graduates. You never know who is interviewing you – even if it is an interview three or four years long.”
VIDEO: Brian talks about the fresh start he received by getting a Construction Ready education, and the idea of coming full-circle by joining CEFGA’s staff as a Construction Ready site manager. Follow us on our YouTube channel to hear about more successful construction careers in Georgia.