A new partnership between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Construction Ready plans to create more jobs with a free program. Their 20-day intensive course offers people hands-on experience.
Twelve people enrolled in the boot-camp style class's first round. Jasmine Freeman, an enrollee, said: "I am learning more and more about construction. I never learned how to do the hand tools, power tools. So actually, it is really, really good."
The course teaches students skills, including electrical work, plumbing, and tools. After finishing the twenty-day class, they will walk away with eight industry credentials; this usually requires six to eight months.
"I never graduated from high school," Freeman said. "This will be my first time ever walking across the stage and getting something. I really want to work on a crane, scaffolding, help out with the stadium, [or work on] bridges."
Construction Ready started in 2014 in Atlanta; the program graduated and placed 1,300 people since its beginning. To bring the program to Jacksonville, the Jaguars pledged $100,000.
"This is a class for 20 days," Freeman said. "It's free. Why not take advantage of it?"
Construction Ready's success in training people to enter the construction industry represents a success amid the building labor shortage.