• Felecia Gilmore-Long

Meet David | cdc monthly - January 2018

"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."

David Ray waited for his chance to join CDC's Introduction to Green Construction course last fall. Having already completed six weeks of training with Ready4Work Hillsborough, David now wanted to gain the stackable certifications we offer through our Tampa Vocational Institute (TVI)--so he could land a better-paying job.

"With my background, I wasn't sure that I had a lot of options when it came to work. But when I heard about all of the different construction trades I might be able to enter with the certifications I'd earn, I saw my opportunity come into focus."

Along with 11 other classmates, David worked hard during the six week TVI course to earn their credentials, including: NCCER Core, OSHA 30, HAZWOPER, and Forklift certifications.

The week before graduating, David noticed a new construction site just one block west of CDC of Tampa's office on Hillsborough Avenue during his lunch break. He introduced himself to the foreman and talked to him about the class and a potential job opportunity. He was told to come back once he graduated.

"I knew I would go back, because of the confidence CDC's staff and instructors gave me," David said. He was especially grateful for all he learned from two of TVI's long-time instructors, Joel "Mez" Mezerowski and Steve Fish.

David walked back to the construction site the day after graduation, and handed the foreman his resume and newly-earned certifications. Impressed, the foreman for Maas Brothers Construction hired him on the spot, and told him to report to work the next morning.

Motivated by his achievements, David has built a door to his future.

He has been on the job with Maas Brothers since December of 2017. His goal is to keep learning his new trade of block masonry, so his pay rate can continue to climb. As he earns more, he wants to manage his money wisely, so that he can eventually buy his first property--to rehab and resell. From there, he envisions slowly but surely buying new properties with the proceeds of the one before, until he has saved enough to start his own business!

"I really like the construction field because I like starting on something new and seeing it to completion," David said.

David: your CDC of Tampa family is proud of the future you're building for yourself, and we're here to support you every step of the way on your journey to becoming a skilled craftsman and entrepreneur. Thank you for inspiring us to create economic opportunities like yours everyday here at CDC of Tampa.


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