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Westside Works’ Construction Ready Program Is Changing Lives, And It's Free

For those not in the Atlanta metro area—or those living under a rock—you might not have heard about the Mercedes Benz stadium, the massive new stadium being built that will soon replace the Georgia Dome.

Mercedes Benz stadium is YUUUUGE, and it will certainly be a great place to attend a game and to perhaps take the awful memory of the Falcons’ epic Super Bowl choke job out of our minds (update: still not over it). It’s also led to a revitalization of the Westside section of Atlanta.

In fact, the Arthur Blank Foundation funded the Westside Works concept with $15 million, and one of the ways its putting that money to use is by creating education and training programs for those in the area.

Westside Works partnered with the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (CEFGA) to implement the Construction Ready program, which is aimed to prepare people for entry-level construction work. Basically this FREE! course teaches people what they need to get into the construction field and start a career. 

And this isn’t theoretical. This program works. According to this Engineering News-Record story, the program has a 94% job-placement rate (294/313 adults trained). 

One Atlanta resident went from spending years in jail to becoming a successful construction employee thanks in large part to the program. In 2014, when Ian Miller heard about the Construction Ready program at Westside Works in Atlanta, he thought it was a “money ploy” to get grants to support its own staff, rather than train participants for entry-level jobs. “I was skeptical,” says the 29-year-old Miller, a 2014 Construction Ready graduate and field engineer with Holder Construction Co. He now recommends the program to others, calling it “wonderful.” Miller recently got married. The couple’s first child is due on Sept. 8. “Overall, the program changed my life,” he says.

Construction Ready Info:

There are three groups offering this program, and each has its own stipulations. Click the links below to register if interested, and for more information about the program as a whole visit the website here.

·        Westside Works Registration (Only residents of zip codes 30314 and 30318 are eligible)

·        Cobb County Registration (Only Cobb County residents are eligible)

·        Center For Working Families Registration (The most broad option limits it to those people who are unemployed or underemployed and other factors)


Parrish Walton

Parrish Walton is a communications specialist with the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD). He is the primary author of the Georgia@Work blog, which aims to educate Georgia citizens on all of the great things done by the Workforce... more