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Construction Ready Training Program Expands into Savannah in March
SAVANNAH (March 13) – The Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (CEFGA) is expanding its Construction Ready program into the Savannah region. Construction Ready takes Georgians through a free, 20-day construction education program that includes training, credentialing and job placement. The first Savannah course begins in May. For more information and to register, visit constructionready.org/newcareer.
"We are excited to welcome this needed opportunity to Savannah," said Mayor Van Johnson. "We want to help our residents attain the necessary job skills that lead them to future high-wage opportunities, and we believe Construction Ready will do just that. If you're looking for a job, don't miss this free opportunity to set yourself up for long-term success."
The expansion into the Savannah region is part of the program's growth across Georgia, which is financed in part by the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund included in the CARES Act. In August 2020, GCEFGA received $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.
"We are excited to expand the Construction Ready program into Savannah," said Scott Shelar, president and CEO of CEFGA. "There are construction jobs in the midst of this pandemic, and we need Georgians trained and certified to fill those positions across the state."
Since 2014, CEFGA has trained more than 1,000 workers of all ages for successful careers through the Construction Ready program. Ninety-seven percent of program graduates receive job placement at the end of the training, and starting salaries average $12 to $15 per hour. Seventy percent of participants are employed with the same company after one year.
In addition to Savannah, Construction Ready currently has training facilities in metro-Atlanta, East Point, Norcross, Augusta, Columbus and Macon.
The Construction Ready program aims to help close the workforce skills gap. The Nationwide Workforce Initiative finds that for every five people that 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 reported in 2019. The need 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 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."
More information on the Construction Ready program and CEFGA can be found by visiting cefga.org. CEFGA is also holding weekly Facebook Live sessions to reach Georgians interested in skilled trades. Every Tuesday at noon, CEFGA's President and CEO Scott Shelar and his guests discuss a different aspect of the construction industry to educate students about career opportunities. All of these events can be found here cefga.org/k12-pipeline/instagram-live-summer-series.
The organization has also set up a career hotline for those interested in entering the construction industry. Georgians can text "careerpath" to 31996, and someone from the CEFGA career placement team will follow up with information on advanced training, apprenticeships and even job placement.