Construction Ready program graduates its first students, all matched with jobs

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Augusta, GA (WJBF)– On Friday June 4th, the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (CEFGA) graduated its first  “Construction Ready” class of 13 students in Augusta.

Construction Ready takes Georgians through a free 20-day construction education program that ends with training, credentialing and job placement. The program expanded into the Augusta region in May 2021 and this training was held at Augusta Technical College. 

“The Construction Ready training has given me the skills and confidence to start my career in the skilled trades. I’m ready to get started with Ameritech next week,” said Nicholas Morris, who was matched with a job with Ameritech Facilities Services.

“We were excited to expand the Construction Ready program into Augusta and are delighted to celebrate the graduation of these 13 class participants,” says CEFGA President and CEO Scott Shelar.

“There are many construction jobs open in the Augusta region and we need local residents trained and certified to fill those positions,” said Shelar.

Student and Company Matches

  • Terance Pearson, Macuch Steel
  • Nicholas Morris, Ameritech Facility Services
  • Andre Benton, Macuch Steel
  • Eddie Files, Yancey Brothers Construction
  • Troy Greaves, Reeves Construction
  • Tywain Ivery, Ameritech Facility Services
  • Nygeria Jordan, Allen+Batchelor Construction
  • Keondra McBride, Ameritech Facility Services
  • Colby Taylor, Ameritech Facility Services
  • Georgene Tolbert, Ameritech Facility Services
  • Carrie White, Yancey Brothers Construction
  • Taren White, Reeves Construction
  • William Wilcher, Allen+Batchelor Construction

The expansion into the Augusta region is part of a major growth of the program across Georgia, financed in part by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund (a part of the CARES Act).

In August 2020, Governor Kemp announced CEFGA was selected to receive $3.3 million to expand the Construction Ready program. The GEER funding supports broadband and connectivity extensions, mental health services, workforce training, childcare, and tech innovation.

“The City of Augusta is proud to be the next area of expansion and investment for the Construction Ready program.  Being able to bring training and jobs to our region is extremely important when the overall employment of construction laborers and helpers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations,” said  Mayor Hardie Davis.

Since 2014, CEFGA through the Construction Ready program has trained more than 1,000 workers of all ages for a successful career in construction. Successes of the program include: 

  • 97% job placement by end of training
  • Average starting salary of $12-15/hour
  • 70% of participants employed with same company one year later

The goal of the Construction Ready program is to help close the workforce skills gap. The lack of skilled workers is also a problem in Georgia as a shortage of more than 61,000 workers was reported in 2019.

The shortage has continued through the pandemic. Closing this skills gap by educating more Georgians about careers in the skilled professions is CEFGA’s primary goal.

“Augusta Technical College is honored to partner with the City of Augusta and CEFGA to host the construction ready training on our campus,” said Dr. Jermaine Whirl, President, Augusta Technical College.

“It’s great to see CEFGA allocating Georgia’s GEER funding so quickly in Augusta as part of the Construction Ready program,” said Georgia Governor Brian Kemp.

“These are challenging times for our state, but we will continue to work around the clock to support our students and teachers, improve outcomes, and get hardworking Georgians back to work,” said Govern Kemp.

More information on the Construction Ready program and CEFGA can be found by visiting https://cefga.org.

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