All Students Matched with Jobs in Local Skilled Trades Workforce

CEFGA graduated its first Construction Ready class in Savannah on Friday, June 11, with all 10 graduates matched with local employers and ready to begin work immediately.

Construction Ready expanded into the Savannah region in March 2021, with initial classes held at Connor’s Temple Baptist Church. The program takes Georgians through a free 20-day construction training program that concludes with a hiring fair in which students are matched with a company and position that best fits their skillset and needs.

Construction Ready enables students to earn up to eight industry-recognized credentials, giving them a significant advantage in the job market.

“The Construction Ready training has changed my life,” said Tyquell Washington, who was matched with a job with Vos Electric. “I’m ready to get started with Vos Electric next week!”

Wille Brown, who at age 77 was matched with a job with Southeast Connections, said, “I could be on the dock fishing, but I wanted to be a part of the Construction Ready program and show my grandchildren what they have to look up to in the future.”

“We were excited to expand the Construction Ready program into Savannah and are delighted to celebrate the graduation of these 10 class participants,” said CEFGA President and CEO Scott Shelar. “There are many construction jobs open in the Savannah region and we need local residents trained and certified to fill those positions.”

The expansion into the Savannah 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 Brian 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 Savannah is proud to be the next area of expansion and investment for the Construction Ready program,” said Mayor Van Johnson. “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. A career as a construction worker offers good pay and a high likelihood of finding and maintaining employment. The Construction Ready Program allows us to address the workforce skills gap and put people to work.”

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

The goal of Construction Ready is to help close the workforce skills gap and address a lack of skilled workers in Georgia, as a shortage of more than 61,000 workers was reported in 2019. The shortage has continued through the Covid pandemic. Closing this skills gap by educating more Georgians about careers in the skilled professions is CEFGA’s primary goal.

“It’s great to see CEFGA allocating Georgia’s GEER funding so quickly in Savannah 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.”

The next Construction Ready class in Savannah will be held August 23-September 17. Potential students can learn more and apply at 

Savannah Construction Ready Class 1, Student and Company Matches

  • Daryl Blalock, Jr., Memco Solutions
  • Patrick Boles, Spirit Construction
  • Willie Brown, Southeast Connections
  • Kaylin Ellison, The Industrial Company (TIC)
  • Collette Jones, Memco Solutions
  • Steven Jones, Vos Electric
  • Charles Kassinger, Spirit Construction
  • Ronnie Miles, Jr., Yancy Brothers
  • Laura Smith, Vos Electric
  • Tyquell Washington, Vos Electric

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