The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership has an unprecedented track record for bringing organizations together to accomplish great things in the city of Atlanta. From health and housing, to fitness and jobs – the Partnership is bringing the Atlanta BeltLine vision to life by creating happier, healthier communities. Its latest collaboration features a Workforce Partnership in Construction with the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (CEFGA) and Westside Works.
On the heels of its highly-successful Workforce Partnership in Healthcare, the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership is teaming up with CEFGA to identify, prepare, and connect residents with construction jobs along the Atlanta BeltLine and beyond through CEFGA’s Training and Industry Certification Program (TrICeP) at Westside Works, a long-term neighborhood program focused on creating employment opportunities and job training for residents of the Westside community, including Vine City, English Avenue, Castleberry Hill and other contiguous neighborhoods. Other partners at Westside Works include Integrity Community Development Corporation (Integrity CDC), New Hope Enterprises, Invest Atlanta and the Arthur M. Blank Foundation
“We are empowering residents to prosper as a result of the benefits the Atlanta BeltLine is having in their communities,” said Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Deputy Executive Director Rob Brawner. “Westside Works is a great example of a successful Workforce Partnership that is creating a pipeline to employment opportunities resulting from Atlanta BeltLine development.”
In February, Tiffany Shelton and Christopher Daugherty were the first two Westside Works graduates hired by Astra Group, Inc., the company leading construction of the Westside Trail. Tiffany and Christopher are now building the Westside Trail in their own community:
“This is a great program because it gave me the education and skills to be able to maintain a job in my community,” said Tiffany Shelton.
“I love being able to make a difference in my community through the work I’m doing with Astra,” said Christopher Daugherty.
The Westside Trail, which broke ground on November 12, 2014 as part of the larger Atlanta BeltLine system, will connect communities to each other, to transit, and to economic development and jobs. The project is connecting people to jobs in smaller ways, as well. Astra Group, the company contracted by the Atlanta BeltLine to construct the Westside Trail, was introduced to Westside Works by the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership.
For the Astra Group, hiring within the community has strong benefits.
“The workers have a sense of pride in their work and are committed to doing a good job, and they know the neighbors so they are able to talk with them and let them know if we’re going to be on or near their property and what we’re doing to develop the area,” said Rick Schaff, Site Superintendent, Astra Group, Inc.
“Westside Works has been a great resource for our company. The quality people Astra has hired through the program have been utilized on our other high profile projects as well as the Westside Trail.“ said Andrew Lindsay, Astra Group, Inc. “We view their employment with Astra as a long term relationship – not just for one project.”
Successful graduates of this four-week, hands-on construction training and certification program will have national and industry-recognized credentials, including: the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Core, OSHA 10-Hour Certification and CPR /First Aid Certification. In addition, they will have an opportunity for employment with major construction companies doing business in Atlanta.
Given the success of the Workforce Partnership to date, the Astra Group has hired three more graduates – for a total of five to date – and is working closely with Westside Works to identify additional trained workers to support construction of the Westside Trail and beyond.