A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

CEFGA: Making a Difference for the 7 out of 10 Who Choose a Different Path to Success

I traveled to Dallas recently to talk about CEFGA’s Construction Ready Program with a group of faith-based leaders in that city. I was talking about the skilled worker shortage in Atlanta, and how as a result of the shortage, skilled workers are making great money. Then, someone shared this joke about a lawyer and a plumber:

A prominent lawyer called a plumber to fix a leak in his shower. After about 25 minutes, the plumber handed him a bill for $200. The lawyer, enraged, said: “I’m a famous trial lawyer, and even I don’t make that kind of money for 25 minutes of work!” The plumber answered, “Neither did I, when I was a lawyer.”

On my UBER ride back to the airport, I told my driver what I did. He proceeded to tell me about calling a plumber to repair his hot water heater in his home. He said the plumber showed up and quoted him a rate of $225 an hour. Before I could share the joke I’d heard just minutes earlier, he went on to tell me that his lawyer only charges $250 per hour!

The skilled construction worker shortage is real from Dallas to Atlanta and in every corner of the United States. Construction is booming and contractors need new talent.

The good news for contractors in the state of Georgia is that our organization, CEFGA – the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia, is 100% focused on finding new talent for construction companies in our state.

When I last reported on Construction Ready here at Construction Citizen almost three years ago, we had just graduated our second class and placed 30 Atlanta residents into full-time employment.

I am proud to report that today, we’ve graduated and placed more than 500 Atlanta residents into full-time employment in the construction industry. In addition, we’ve expanded the Construction Ready program into five different locations throughout Metro Atlanta.

In addition to Construction Ready, we have an aggressive K12 Pipeline Program, where we are working with middle schools and high schools throughout the state to ensure Georgia students are aware of the opportunities and have the training and credentials they need to pursue a career in construction. Again, I’m proud to report that here in Georgia, we have more than 150 high school construction programs with more than 17,000 students enrolled.

One of our highlights this year was being recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative at its annual meeting last summer in Atlanta. The other encouraging development this year is the growing realization by leaders in all levels of government that a four-year degree is not the only path to success. After all, only three of out 10 Americans will ever earn a four-year degree. CEFGA is proudly focused on and making a difference in the lives of those seven out of 10 Americans who choose a different path to success.

For more information about CEFGA, please visit www.cefga.org, or download the 2016-2017 CEFGA Annual Report.