“Construction Ready” Training Program Graduates Ten Savannah Residents, Students Matched with Jobs in the Savannah’s Skilled Trades Workforce

Thursday, June 17th, 2021

Today the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (CEFGA) graduated its first  “Construction Ready” class of ten students in Savannah. 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 Savannah region in March 2021 and this training was held at Connor’s Temple Baptist Church.

For more information and to register for the next Savannah class (August 23 - Sept. 17, 2021), applicants should visit -  https://constructionready.org/career-seekers/overview/

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

Wille Brown, aged 77,  who 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 ten class participants,” says 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.”

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

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 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. 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,” says Mayor Van Johnson.  “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 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.

 ]“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.”