Strong Connections

Tra’Quann Williams Proves to Be a Good Fit as Cabling Technician

At Clayton County’s Perry Career Academy, Construction Ready’s Pre-Apprenticeship program offers young adults such as Tra’Quann Williams an ideal connection between high school and a full-time career.

“I knew I did not want to go to college,” says Tra’Quann, who enrolled in PCA Group 3 immediately after graduating from Charles R. Drew High School in May 2023. Four weeks later he held a job offer as a cabling technician from NetPlanner Systems, an Atlanta-based company provider of I.T. solutions including data cables, security cameras, access control, and AV systems.

“Tra is eager to learn and he picks up real quick,’ says NetPlanner Systems’ Robert Jackson. “He came in after Construction Ready gave him a quick jumpstart, and he was ready. [He] came in knowing what he wanted and he’s been striving to do better every day, pushing to learn as much as he can.”

Tra’Quann looks forward to continued career development at NetPlanner Systems, along with greater earnings – potentially upwards of $30 per hour. Following are highlights of his story, in his own words.

He was sold on Construction Ready’s recruitment pitch … after a bit of prodding from a respected mentor, Dr. Shirley Springer.

Luke [Fletcher] and Miss Veda [White, Construction Ready recruiters] came to talk about the program. So one of my teachers hunted me down. She was never my actual teacher, but she was a teacher at the school. She told me to make sure I was in this meeting about construction stuff. She said, ‘You need to do something. Go to the meeting.’ She contacted all my friends and told them to make sure I made it to the meeting. I went, and I liked what they were talking about, so I signed up.

He approached his classes at PCA as an extension of high school.

I treated it like school. I was learning fast. It was an open-book test, so I was able to retain the information – looking at a question and doing my own deep-dive research, trying to find the answer. It helped. It worked out big-time for me.

He speaks highly of his Construction Ready lessons and instructors, including VP of Training Development Johnny Hughes.

[The training] taught me how to take down measurements. So now I can [use that training] to measure a room and see how much cable I need to run. I had a great instructor. Mr. Hughes taught us lessons to be aware of around the job site. As I got on the site, I actually saw what he was telling us to look out for. [For example] when you get on the job site you might see somebody doing something, like maybe getting on a ladder improperly. It’s something to take note of, that I don’t need to be doing that, that I need to do everything safe and sound.

Tra’Quann’s first job assignment was on an expansion of SCAD Atlanta’s Midtown campus, where enormous cabling requirements helped him build quickly hone his skills.

I’m constantly learning. I also look at other trades and see how they do their work, how they move, how they install things. I look at the electricians and how they drop cable down a wall.

He encourages current and future Construction Ready students to stick with the program.

It’s really worth it. You’re not only getting a job, you’re getting a career. Construction Ready brings out great companies [to hire graduates], and you’re getting great benefits at whatever company you choose. At the end of the class, you have options to do what you want to do.

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