“Construction Ready” Training Expands to Barrow County

Construction Ready students practicing valuable job skills

The Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (CEFGA) offered a 20-day Construction Ready program to recent high school graduates. Participants received training, industry recognized certificates, and job placement. The Barrow training was hosted by the Sims Academy for Innovation and Technology in partnership with the Barrow County School System and Foothills Education Charter High School.

The class included nine recent Barrow County School System graduates who earned the following eight certificates:

  1. National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Core Credential
  2. OSHA 10-Hour Card
  3. First Aid/CPR/BB/AED Certification
  4. Powder Actuated Tool Certification
  5. Laser Tool Certification
  6. Forklift Safety Awareness
  7. A.T.S.S.A. Utility Flagger Certification
  8. Competent Person Training in Fall Protection

“Construction Ready is a fine example of why Sims Academy exists for Barrow County and our entire region,” says CEO Dr. Dale Simpson. “This is a perfect example of how we can leverage partnerships and innovation for the betterment of our students and community.”

The expansion of Construction Ready into Northeast Georgia 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 important education and workforce training to help Georgians move past the pandemic.

Since 2014, CEFGA through the Construction Ready program has trained more than 1,200 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

“We are excited to expand the Construction Ready program and support recent high school graduates,” says CEFGA President and CEO Scott Shelar. “There are construction jobs in the midst of this pandemic and we need Georgians trained and certified to fill those positions across the state.”

The goal of the Construction Ready program is 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. In 2019, the lack of skilled workers in Georgia was calculated to be more than 61,000 workers. 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 to recent high school graduates who can benefit from 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 with workforce training, improve outcomes, and get hardworking Georgians back to work.”


More information on the Construction Ready program and CEFGA can be found by visiting

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