Construction Ready Provides Opportunity Through High-Paying Construction Jobs

As part of Philanthropy Roundtable’s new campaign “Our Values Improve Lives,” we released a new video today highlighting the Georgia-based nonprofit Construction Ready, which trains people for “great-paying, entry-level construction jobs.”


A part of Construction Ready’s success hinges on its partnership with generous philanthropists who share its values and a desire to help the nonprofit provide rewarding career pathways to individuals, helping them unlock their full and unique potential. These types of partnerships improve lives around the country and are shining examples of the Roundtable’s approach to Values-Based Giving, when philanthropists and charitable organizations work together to advance liberty, opportunity and personal responsibility.

“We help people of all ages and backgrounds find a great career in the construction industry,” said Scott Shelar, Construction Ready’s president and CEO. “We help get them excited about the industry. We help them learn about all of the opportunities in the industry. We help them get the training and credentials that they need to pursue a career in the industry. And then we take that final step. We connect them with an employer.”

One of the organization’s success stories is Kaiveon Jones, a former student at Cross Keys High School in Atlanta. Jones was on the verge of dropping out of school when Construction Ready introduced him to a representative from Anning-Johnson, a drywall construction company based in the city and operating in eight markets nationally.

Jones was inspired by the conversation to pursue a career in the industry. Today, at just 21 years old, he earns $50,000 per year and is on track to become a foreman with one of the largest specialty construction contractors in the country.

“This program really opens up another opportunity not just for young people … but for other people who want a second chance or for people who want to do something new with their life,” said Jones.

In addition to its training and employment services, Construction Ready also offers a K-12 program to provide schools “with everything they need to bring construction back into the classroom.”

“The Construction Ready Team [has] come up with a vertical pipeline from A to Z, from elementary to high school that gives every kid the opportunity to be successful,” said Elisa Levy, program director for The Marcus Foundation, a supporter of Construction Ready.

The partnership between Construction Ready and The Marcus Foundation is one example of a productive and collaborative approach to Values-Based Giving, when donors invest in high-impact organizations that share their values and goals.

“Construction Ready is the perfect example of emulating [founder] Bernie [Marcus’s] values,” said Levy. “They’ve got the right leadership. They’ve got the right entrepreneurial spirit. They’re changing lives. They’re providing opportunities. And they’re making a difference.”

In the weeks and months ahead, the Roundtable will continue to shine a light on organizations and philanthropists who are partnering to make a difference through the “Our Values Improve Lives” campaign.

Are you a Roundtable donor and interested in learning more about Values-Based Giving? Click here to learn more about the services our team provides. For more information on Construction Ready, read our article published earlier this year.