After 20 days of basic construction training through the Construction Ready pre-apprenticeship program, Jabril Mathis joined Haskell and is currently working as a laborer at the Miller Electric Center job site.

February 16, 2023

Construction Ready Helps Mathis Lay a Foundation, Build a Career

The pre-apprenticeship program taught him basic construction skills. His drive and eagerness to learn earned him a professional home with Haskell.

Share
Tweet
Share
Share

Editor’s note: This story is republished with the permission of ConstructionReady.org, where it originally appeared under the headline, “A Winning Game Plan: Jacksonville Native Jabril Mathis Sees Career Vision Become Reality.”

Before he ever laid eyes on Jabril Mathis, Tim Mosley had a hunch the young man was a good candidate to fit in at Haskell.

Haskell, an architecture, engineering, construction and consulting firm headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, was seeking to fill positions at the Miller Electric Center job site, where the Jacksonville Jaguars’ training and administrative complex is slated for a summer 2023 opening.

Mosley, the company’s Senior Manager for Field Personnel, says, “Jabril really stood out” as he looked through a set of resumes in preparation for a Construction Ready hiring fair in the fall of 2022.

As Mosley recalls, “Our training director had looked at Jabril, too, and he cut to the chase and said, ‘I want to know who you picked; here’s my picks.’ And his first pick was Jabril as well. So, we could see there was potential, the two of us seeing something in someone who was willing to learn.”

The interest, it turned out, ran both ways. In fact, before Mathis even set foot in the Construction Ready classroom, he had an eye on a career at Haskell.

“Going into the program I saw that Haskell was one of the sponsors, and in my mind, I was already thinking I would like to work for them,” Mathis says. “I always said I wanted to be in design and building construction, and Construction Ready put me on that path toward getting there. Without Construction Ready, I wouldn’t have been able to connect with Haskell the way I wanted to.”

When Mathis showed up at the hiring fair, he confirmed Mosley’s initial impressions.

“Again, he stood out above the rest,” Mosley says. “He had this interest in design, so you could tell he had a little bit of creativity to him and a willingness to learn, not just wanting a job. He spoke well, asked the right questions. We continued the conversation probably 30 or 45 minutes, just because it was so nice to meet someone that has potential.”

Learning While He Works

Mathis landed the job, and while he came into it with no construction experience, he had already shown he was eager to learn throughout his time in the Construction Ready pre-apprenticeship program.

“I hadn’t been in school in a while, so I liked that I was learning again, especially something that I had a lot of interest in already,” he says. “And there were Lunch and Learns where you hear from different companies. I liked seeing the different ins and outs of what those companies do.”

Each day on the job site has been a process of continuing education for Mathis. Clearly a thoughtful young man, he came up with an insightful analogy to describe his work.

“Starting off they had me doing just basic things,” he says, “but I like to think that what I’m doing kind of coincides with my own education. Like when I was laying foundations (for the Jaguar facilities), I was also laying a foundation for my career. When I’m setting forms, I’m forming myself, too – I’m learning different things every day.”

Assistant Superintendent Alfredo de la Cruz, Mathis’ direct supervisor, echoes Mosley’s comments about Mathis’ potential.

“He’s been doing really good,” de la Cruz says. “I like his attitude. I see Jabril years from now in a different position. He’s willing to learn, he’s always there to help, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.”

Mathis’ story is a great example of how Construction Ready’s pre-apprenticeship program can jumpstart a career in a hurry. In his case, a college football career at Florida Atlantic University had not worked out. The Jacksonville native and Bolles School product was back in his hometown working in security when he began researching construction careers.

Heading Down a Promising Career Path

“I found a few different programs and apprenticeships, then I came across Construction Ready,” he remembers. “It was the quickest one – it said you could get hired for a construction job in like 30 days. So, I applied, and I got a call from someone who said there would be a class coming up in October.”

The training lasts 20 days and provides instruction in basic construction skills, up to eight industry-recognized credentials and those all-important connections to real employers who are hiring for real jobs. The best matches come when graduates are willing to keep learning, and employers, such as Haskell, are willing to help them do so.

“This company identifies people who have potential, and they will help develop that,” Mosley confirms. “We want to show them that this is a career. I believe Jabril is definitely taking the steps to continue, so we want to advance his education, get him experience on the job sites, and give him a little bit more (responsibility). So far, it’s been working great.”

A bonus for Mathis is that his first on-the-job experience was helping build a facility for the Jaguars, his lifelong favorite team.

“I mean, grew up in a teal-colored room,” he says, referring to the Jaguars’ distinct primary color. “Just being out here is cool to me, because knowing I’m helping build their practice facility, that sticks with me.”

So far, it’s working out just as he envisioned: “It was cool that I had [working for Haskell] in mind, and now I’m here.”

Haskell is hiring! Explore the many options available to join a growing company committed to educating and developing team members, enabling them to have the BEST job of their lives.

About Construction Ready: The Georgia-based organization trains people for great-paying, entry-level construction jobs so they can earn a comfortable living, do work they enjoy, and build fulfilling careers without the burden of student loan debt. It was founded as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 1993 as the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (CEFGA) and became Construction Ready, a name taken from its flagship construction training program, in 2022.

Haskell delivers more than $1.5 billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 2,000 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

Related News & Insights