Community Action, Partners Host Successful Weatherization Hiring Event in Chillicothe

11 Jan. 2024

(CHILLICOTHE)—Ross County Community Action, alongside partners, opened their doors on Thursday to people interested in beginning a weatherization installer apprenticeship.

Ohio Means Jobs and the Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development (COAD) were on site to assist with the event, which included on-the-spot interviews and weatherization demonstrations featuring COAD’s mobile heat lab. It was a one-stop shop for people wanting to break into the industry.

Julie Bolen, Executive Director for Ross County Community Action, said the organization will be expanding their weatherization programs, hence the hiring event.

“We received additional funding, and we’re going to be hiring more weatherization crew members, so this is going to be able to expand our capacity to offer services to more people in Ross County,” Bolen said.

Moreover, Bolen explained why the hiring event was such a unique opportunity.

“You’re getting training, you’re getting certifications, but you’re also able to work on the job while you’re getting them,” Bolen said. “It’s hard to blend if you want to do training and also be able to work full-time, so I think this is the perfect opportunity.”

Josh Johnson, Weatherization Coordinator for the organization, said not only is this a great opportunity for people looking to start a weatherization career, but it’s also an important way to give back to the community.

“I think this is huge for the community because we’re going to be able to help people a lot more,” Johnson said. “We’ll have more crews out there working, and the more people we have here, the more jobs we’re going to get done a year. We’re out here helping people every day, so the bigger we are, the more we help the community.”

Clara Dixon, Energy Programs Director for Community Action, echoed Johnson’s sentiments.

“I just think it’s a good opportunity to get to help other people, so it’s a rewarding job,” Dixon said.

Rick Reynolds, who works with South Central Ohio Job and Family Services and is the Program Administrator for Ross County Ohio Means Jobs, also attended the event to help provide training funds.

“We receive funds through the Department of Labor, and so we can utilize some of those funds to help Community Action offset some of the training costs that they will incur in training these folks,” Reynolds said. “We’re always happy to be out in the community and do our part, and we’re glad to have the opportunity to work with Julie (Bolen) and her staff to make this a successful event.”

Two training specialists with COAD – Wayne Haning and Chris Tedrow—were also in attendance with their mobile heat lab to give potential apprentices an idea of the training they will receive and a look at some of the equipment they might be working with on the job.

Tedrow, who has been with COAD for three years, was excited to talk with those interested in weatherization.

“Getting people out there and doing the job—it helps everybody,” Tedrow said.

Once apprentices are hired through Community Action, they go through training at COAD.

“For us, it’s exposure so they can see where they can go and grow into,” said Haning, who has been with COAD for a year.

Twelve job seekers came to the event, and Bolen said everyone was excited by the turnout.

“If we can get one good candidate out of it, it’s worth the time,” Bolen said. “If one person get this opportunity and we gain a great team member, it’s worth it.”

To learn more about the weatherization programs provided in Ross County, be sure to visit Community Action’s website: rossccac.org/services/weatherization-programs.html

To learn more about COAD’s weatherization training program, visit coadinc.org/owtc