MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) – A first-of-its-kind program kicked off at Florida Memorial University on Tuesday. For many, it will give them the keys to a wide range of jobs in construction.

In Ann McNeill’s class, the entry into learning began with a question, “How much money do you want?”

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McNeill is one of the instructors of the program, she’s also a general contractor, CEO of MCO Construction and Services, she also runs a number of other businesses.

“I’ve never been asked that question before let me tonight think about the answer to that question,” she recalled of the first time she had to think about how much money she wanted.

It’s not how much you want to make, it’s how much money you want in a set time frame. That’s just part of a lesson in planning for success. It also takes commitment, and this is how knowledge in construction can help with upward mobility.

“I’m 32 years old, I work for the United States Postal Service,” Antynia Bennett said.

Bennett used to be a local mail carrier, she’s moved over to maintenance, and she’s not one to be complacent, that’s why she’s one of the students.

“I’m trying to learn the construction trade that will help me with the electrical part of the maintenance,” she explained.

The program is free, it runs 12 weeks, and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for some like Bennett.

“They don’t have funds they can’t do what they want to do because they’re limited to what they can do,” she said.

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Now this will give her not only new skills but a chance to meet other leaders in construction and potential employers.

“I wanted to be in the medical field,” Bennett said.

But the length of schooling she felt was too long.

“Crazy enough I love continuing education,” Bennett told CBS4.

So here she is in the program, learning about electrical construction, it’ can be almost as hard as medical sciences, but it’ll help open many new doors for students like her.

“I wasn’t laid off but it made me want to explore more, it wanted me to have more opportunities in case anything happened that I could have another avenue to go to,” she said.

It’s also another chance to go for the prize.

“I’m going to work with you backward and help you understand how will the construction trade help you get that number?” McNeill said.

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In many ways construction simply is as hard as any field, but McNeill told her students, the hardest part is really shifting one’s mentality to understand how one job can lead to building success, and ultimately making your money work for you.

Jacqueline Quynh