Impact Stories

Keke is Ready for a Construction Career!

“First Place is a really, really, really good program, and I wish people would join this program because they help you with a lot and motivate you to get things done,” said Kijana “Keke” Davis shown at left with her certificate. “They’re always here for you.” 

When Keke joined First Place for Youth in May 2022, she said she was looking for people who would support her on her self-driven journey—and that’s just what she found. With the help of her First Place team, the 23 year old found a pre-apprenticeship program that would jumpstart her career. In just five weeks, Keke completed the 2022 Pre-Apprenticeship Training program hosted by the Solano Workforce Development Board, in partnership with NorCal Laborers Union and Fairfield-Suisun Adult School, while continuing to work part-time job at cookie retailer, Crumbl.  

“The construction industry starts early, so I must be there from 7 AM until noon,” she said. “We’d watch instructional videos and do hands-on work like learning how to build a concrete wall, practicing drills, how to wear proper PPE, and how to handle hazardous waste.” 

Keke aims to pursue a career in the construction field, and added multiple certifications to her resume, including First Aid, CPR, Cal OSHA, Concrete, Forklift Operations, and more, qualifying her for higher pay rates and industries beyond construction.  

“My value went up because of the certificates and the apprenticeship program. I am more qualified for many different roles,” Keke said, crediting her Youth Advocate, Allen, and Education & Employment Specialist, Cecilia, as critical forces supporting a pathway to success.  

“Allen is great. He’s gone above and beyond for me, picking me up from work past business hours, taking me to my doctor’s appointment when I didn’t have any money, or being there for me when I was going through a hard time,” she said. “Cecilia has provided me with many resources to help me mentally and physically. I just need to ask whenever I need something, and she’ll help me get it.”  

Many others at First Place for Youth have helped her to get what she needs to succeed, Keke said, from transporting her to and from her apprenticeship to making sure she felt supported in her career. 

“First Place is a really, really, really good program, and I wish people would join this program because they help you with a lot and motivate you to get things done,” said Keke. “They’re always here for you.” 

Congratulations, Keke, on your impressive accomplishments! We are so proud of your diligence, perseverance, and hard work, and we wish you all the best in your career in the construction field! 

Check out this video from the Workforce Development Board of Solano County, featuring the graduates of the 2022 Pre-Apprenticeship Training and some behind-the-scenes pictures of Keke in action.  

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