CEFGA is expanding its Construction Ready training program from metro Atlanta to include locations throughout the state in 2021.

Construction Ready, which has trained and placed more than 1,142 Atlanta-area residents into full-time careers since 2014, is adding training sites in Augusta, Savannah, Macon and Columbus, plus another suburban Atlanta site, in Gwinnett County.

“We are excited to expand the Construction Ready program statewide,” said CEFGA President and CEO Scott Shelar. “There are construction jobs in the midst of this pandemic, and we need Georgians trained and certified to fill those positions across the state.”

Construction Ready takes Georgians through a free 20-day construction education program that ends with training, credentialing and job placement. The expansion to the new sites is financed in part by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund (a part of the CARES Act). In August 2020, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced CEFGA was selected to receive $3.3 million to expand Construction Ready. The GEER funding supports broadband and connectivity extensions, mental health services, workforce training, childcare, and tech innovation.

“It’s great to see CEFGA allocating Georgia’s GEER funding so quickly as part of the Construction Ready program,” Kemp said. “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 goal of Construction Ready is to help close the workforce skills gap. The Nationwide Workforce Initiative finds that for every five people who retire from the skilled professions, there is only one apprentice to fill the job. The lack of skilled workers is also a problem in Georgia, with a shortage of more than 61,000 workers having been reported in 2019. The shortage has continued through the Covid-19 pandemic. Closing this gap by educating and training more Georgians for careers in the skilled professions is CEFGA’s primary goal.

The Construction Ready program’s successes include:

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

Current Atlanta-area training facilities are in Westside Atlanta, East Point and Cobb County. The new Gwinnett training site will be at Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Norcross. Augusta Technical College will host the Construction Ready Augusta program, and training locations in Savannah, Macon and Columbus will be announced soon. Classes begin at the new locations as follows: Gwinnett, March 29; Augusta, May 10; Savannah, May 17; Macon, August 30; and Columbus, October 18.

Construction Ready is open to Georgia residents ages 18 and older. For more information and to register, applicants should visit constructionready.org/career-seekers/overview.

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