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Atlanta, Georgia

Georgia Building Trades Academy YouthBuild

Georgia Building Trades Academy (GABTA) YouthBuild prepares students to achieve success through innovative partnerships and unique job readiness experiences. They help students meet both their personal and educational goals as they embark on their construction trades careers.

Georgia Building Trades Academy (GABTA) YouthBuild was created in affiliation with the Atlanta & North Georgia Building and Construction Trades Council, an organization which brings together the leaders of 18 different construction trade organizations in the Atlanta and North Georgia area.

Their curriculum and network of industry supporters provides unique opportunities for participants. The program offers rigorous, hands-on, and experiential opportunities including MC3 training and direct entry into participants’ chosen construction trade. The MC3 is a comprehensive 120-hour apprenticeship-readiness program which makes it easier for participants to transition into an apprenticeship. Participants can also receive 10 hours of training for OSHA, First Aid, and CPR certifications. Additionally, their welding center, which houses five state of the art welding bays, allows our students to develop a skill that can be transferred into any construction trade they wish to pursue. In September 2022, YouthBuild champion in Congress Nikema Williams even got to experience this for herself and weld with us on a site visit!

In addition to curricular opportunities, GABTA YouthBuild participants are also provided access to numerous personal and community experiences. For example, thanks to partnerships with companies such as Carvana and Akins Ford, outstanding students have the chance to be awarded a scholarship to purchase a vehicle and pay for their first three months of car insurance. This feature of their program was implemented to ensure that students are able to secure a safe and reliable mode of transportation to their jobs after completing their programs.

Yet another community partnership that is unique to GABTA YouthBuild is their relationship with Michael Render, a.k.a. Killer Mike. Killer Mike, known not only for his rapping but also for his activism in the city of Atlanta, has given both funds and mentorship to GABTA YouthBuild students. He has helped to emphasize the importance of connecting to and advocating for one’s community.

Karen Guzman is one of the participants of GABTA YouthBuild who has taken full advantage of these opportunities and who has, as a result, been able to turn her life around for herself and her son. She came to the program in June of 2021 as a 20-year-old single mother without a high-school diploma, and now, less than six months later, is employed full-time and is enrolled in Carpenters Local 225’s registered apprenticeship program. Karen is also the most recent recipient of GABTA YouthBuild’s 4Wheels4Work Scholarship.

It is the combination of their curriculum and their network of partners which allows GABTA YouthBuild to build brighter futures and ensure that its graduates have the tools to achieve lifelong personal and professional success.

“YouthBuild is a family,” said 2021 GABTA Graduate Orlando Anderson. “It’s not just people doing their jobs; the staff really care about the students. People who join this program have a person they can always call and talk to about stuff relating to the field and stuff relating to personal life.”

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