With shortage of construction workers, local program aims to solve the problem

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — There is a big shortage of construction workers in the metro area.

Channel 2′s Gwinnett County bureau chief Tony Thomas visited a program designed to help with the shortage of qualified workers. Workers could be ready for the workforce in as little as three weeks.

Construction projects are underway all across metro Atlanta.

Many of the job sites suffer from a common shortage and that’s skilled workers. The worker shortage can affect job completion and costs builders more money to complete projects.

There is a local program called Construction Ready that teaches people the basics in 20 days. Graduates of the program almost all immediately find work.

“Right now I’ve started my own business — its called Tony Fixed It,” said Tony Byrd.

Five months ago Byrd was trying to figure out what she was going to do and now she’s a business owner.

“I didn’t have a lot of self-confidence and didn’t believe in myself but as I graduated from that class, I could do anything,” Byrd said.

There are hundreds of construction job openings in Gwinnett county alone, thousands across the state. A demand that the leaders of the construction education foundation of Georgia says is only growing.

“There are so many projects that need to get done, but because of that skills gap we are kind of behind on projects and getting them done because we don’t have qualified people,” said Veda White of Construction Ready.

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The program Construction Ready is trying to fill the gap, taking people of any age off the street, and in 20 days teaching them the basics of construction.

White says 97% of the graduates have immediate full time jobs.

“It’s anything from general laborer… to apprenticeship programs for electrical plumbing. Mechanical, all those things,” White said.

More than 1,000 people have graduated from the program. The program is now expanding to other parts of the state, including booming areas like Gwinnett.

“Like if you need replacing of your sheet rock, if you need painting on your walls, if your lawn work need taken care of, I got you,” Byrd said.

For more information on the program click here.