Bright, Busy Future Ahead for Newnan’s Construction Industry

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From Special Reports

With dozens of planned projects breaking ground and in progress, local demand for skilled laborers and site superintendents has skyrocketed in 2022.

“We are busier than ever,” says Headley Construction Vice President Christopher Gilliam. “One of our crews just got started on the University of West Georgia’s Newnan Campus Phase 1 Buildout, the fit-out of office and classroom space necessary to accommodate thousands of students in the years to come. Projects like these are so important for our community. They create jobs for hardworking men and women in the construction industry, and a sense of place for students young and old alike.”

Headley Construction’s founder, Bill Headley, remains the university’s oldest graduate. He majored in real estate through UWG’s Richards College of Business five years ago, earning his degree at 81 years old. 

During a recent celebration of the institution’s impact, President Dr. Brendan B. Kelly told the community, “We are at the beginning of a new age for UWG… A multitude of intentional, targeted investments in UWG and our students make all the difference in people’s lives.” 

More than 1,300 members of the community – students, faculty, staff, alumni, community leaders, boards, and other external stakeholders – were involved in strategic planning for the future of UWG. Priorities for new buildings, like the ones Headley Construction crews are working on today, are that they make students feel at home, feel welcomed, feel unique, and feel proud.

“School, state, and local government spending is a major driver of construction projects for us. There’s a lot of infrastructure funding out there right now,” says Gilliam. 

The City of Newnan is currently focused on integral transportation improvements, redevelopment of the Caldwell Tanks Facility, and extensive renovations of the existing Newnan Fire Training Facility, according to its Program Manager Ronda Helton. Big changes to the Newnan Coweta County Airport are also on the horizon.

“Economists are cautiously optimistic that our industry is recovering despite supply chain disruptions and higher material costs, and that we’re well positioned for the future,” Gilliam explains. “Headley Construction has been in business for 50 years, through the Great Recession, through the Pandemic… We’ve seen it all and we know how to successfully manage projects for our clients no matter what. Our biggest challenge will always be finding and hiring the most talented local people for the job.”

High earning potential, low barriers to entry, and great job security are just a few benefits of a career in construction. Skilled laborers who are new to construction benefit from the industry’s ‘earn while you learn’ model. Those who are creative, mathematically inclined, and natural problem solvers can quickly grow into more senior superintendent and project management roles. 

“We treat everybody like family so many of Headley Construction’s employees have been with us for decades, but demand will continue to rise as the current workforce reaches retirement,” adds Gilliam. “Pursuing a career in construction makes it easier than ever to start earning a great paycheck and benefits today, while building a better future for tomorrow.”

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