GWINNETT COUNTY, Georgia – The metropolitan area is experiencing a major shortage of construction workers.

Channel 2’s Gwinnett County director, Tony Thomas, attended a program designed to address the skilled labor shortage. The workers could be up and running in just three weeks.

Construction projects are ongoing across Metro Atlanta.

Many of the construction sites suffer from a common shortage and these are skilled workers. The labor shortage can impact job completion and cost builders more money to complete projects.

There is a local program called Construction Ready that teaches people the basics in 20 days. Almost all graduates of the program find work straight away.

“Right now I’ve started my own business – it’s 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 confidence and didn’t believe in myself, but by the time I finished that class I could do anything,” said Byrd.

There are hundreds of construction jobs in Gwinnett County alone, thousands across the state. A demand that, according to those responsible for the Foundation for Building Training in Georgia, is growing ever more.

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


The Construction Ready program seeks to fill the gap, get people of all ages off the streets and teach them the basics of building in 20 days.

White says 97% of graduates have an immediate full-time position.

“It’s about everything from general workers … to training courses for electrical installers. Mechanically, all of those things, ”White said.

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

“For example, if you need to replace your panels, if you need to paint your walls, if your lawn work needs to be done, I have you,” said Byrd.

For more information on the program, click here.