Quick Start 6 has kicked off!

When REAL was only in the Richmond Jail, we partnered with CARITAS Works, VCU Facilities, and the VCU Health System to begin a construction training and soft skills development program. We call it Quick Start to Construction. Nearly three years later, we have just kicked off our 6th class! With an 80% employment retention rate 6 months after Quick Start completion and graduation, the 3-week paid training course provides a pathway for individuals with personal barriers to access employment within the construction industry that offer both, family supporting wages and career potential.

Our vision is that all participants who have committed to overcome their personal barriers will be provided the fundamental skills and education necessary to gain employment and continue their pathway to thriving.

This week, students have gone through budget and money management class, as well as classes related to being in recovery and working, building resilience and dealing with trauma, and communication skills. They received their first 8 hours of instruction on construction math from Allan Myers (Construction Company) and visited VCU’s power tool warehouse, where they received instruction from a Superintendent from Kjellstrom & Lee.  For the remaining two weeks of the class, they will receive more on the “soft skills side,” such as well as team building, family relationships, emotional intelligence, healthy routines, what supervisors look for in their employees, assertive communication, and what being a superior tenant looks like. Construction training will include more construction math, construction drawings, and safety instruction. Students will earn their OSHA 10 certifications, as well as become certified in First Aid/CPR. Additionally, they will receive presentations from M.L. Bell and SW Funk Industrial Constructors, in order to have an even deeper insight into the industry. Last, they will have a site visit to the VCU Engineering building, which is currently under construction.

With graduation scheduled for March 20, we look forward to ushering the graduates of Class 6 into the workforce, as well as seeing them on their path toward a thriving life.