Cities across the country are doing their part to jumpstart the economy and get citizens back to work. In early March 2021, the City of Augusta announced that they are introducing a great program that is intended to do just that.
Mayor Davis is optimistic about the new program, which was dubbed the Construction Ready program. He claims that there are nearly 800 construction jobs in Augusta, but that there are not nearly enough people to fill them. If it’s successful, the Construction Ready program will likely be emulated by cities around the country.
What is the Construction Ready Program?
According to Davis, the Construction Ready program is essentially a four-week bootcamp. It is open to anyone that is 18 years old, can pass a drug test, and is fit enough for physical labor.
As part of the program, those enrolled must also attend a job fair and connect with employers. They must also pass a TABE Test and demonstrate a 6th grade education level. Attendees must go to all 20 classes and cannot miss any days.
The program will be hosted at the Augusta Technical College and will provide individuals that complete it with credentials that can be used to obtain construction jobs. It is 100% free to those who attend and funded by the Construction Education Foundation using state-allocated funds.
Thus far, over 1,100 people have successfully completed the Construction Ready program. Most graduates have obtained full-time employment. Currently, the program has a 97 percent placement rate. These results were obtained from the Atlanta chapter of the program.
City officials hope to see similar success from the Augusta program, which will mean big things for the community. Getting nearly 1,000 people back to work in consistent, long-term positions will significantly benefit the city’s economy.
An organization called Augusta Building Trades offers a similar program in the city. Its readiness program consists of a six-week training course. Members of this program work full-time as an apprentice and attend classes at Augusta Technical College. The ABT pays them an hourly wage and provides benefits.
Why is the Program Necessary?
While Augusta has no shortage of construction projects, managers for these projects are often unable to find enough qualified people to complete the jobs. Not only does this result in costly delays for existing projects, but it can also discourage new investors. Success with this program will bring serious economic growth for the city.
The Construction Ready program is necessary for the citizens, too. Even before COVID-19, Augusta was suffering from a tremendous “workforce skills gap.” This signifies that there are plenty of able-bodied residents looking for work. They simply did not have the opportunity to do so, due to a lack of adequate training and skills.
By closing that gap, city officials hope to improve employment rates. This will serve to improve the overall quality of life for hundreds of its citizens.
The Construction Ready program is a great way to get Augusta citizens out to work. The construction industry in the area is booming, which should translate to years of steady employment. The program also opens the door for some long-term opportunities.
After obtaining prerequisite knowledge and experience, residents will have the opportunity to obtain a contractor’s license. These licenses will open the door to even more jobs and will improve earning potential. Georgia offers a wide variety of contractor’s licenses, including general and specialty licensing.
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