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Student Writing: Nicole


Posted on Monday, April 29, 2024, at 6:25 PM

Nicole was first profiled in 2022 as a participant in our Energy Works training program. The opportunity ignited a passion for weatherization work and she now helps train new Energy Works participants through our partnership with BROC Community Action in Rutland. Read about Nicole’s weatherization career journey in her own words below!

My background prior to BROC was primarily in sustainable agriculture. However, after living in New Hampshire for 5 years and taking “the long way home” via a thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail, I took the first form of employment I knew would be available- Seasonal Warehouse Worker at Vermont Country Store. It provided me with an instant community and a steady paycheck. But while thru-hiking (and sleeping in a tent amidst all types of weather) I had a lot of time to think about what I wanted next for myself. What I wanted was to understand shelters- how they worked, how they could work better, and how I could be involved in that. During a discussion over Thanksgiving Dinner my first fall “back in town” my Uncle, who works in Weatherization in New York, suggested I take a weatherization class to give me a basic understanding of how houses work and with that knowledge, a foot in the door to the trades (of which I had no prior experience).

Thankfully, Vermont Adult Learning was sponsoring such a class in the spring of 2022! While at this point still gainfully employed, now as a full-time warehouse worker at Vermont Country Store, I was able to use paid time off to take the weatherization course and then seamlessly move into the position of Weatherization Crew Tech at BROC Community Services with the support of Vermont Adult Learning with me throughout the entire process. After working as a Crew Tech for eight months, I was promoted to the position of Crew Lead, and this past fall I decided to take the available position of Energy Efficiency Coach. Later this month BROC is sending me to the Weatherization Training Center NYSWADA in Syracuse, NY to study for and (hopefully!) receive the next level of BPI Certification – Building Analyst so I can begin working with our auditor.

I owe it to Vermont Adult Learning and the education and BPI Certification they provided at a time when this growing industry is working with more clients than ever before to increase the efficiency of homes, while also increasing the health, education, and ability of the occupants to continue living in their homes.   

I love what I do, and I could not have done it without Vermont Adult Learning. They gave me the education, exposure, support, confidence, and clear path I needed to pursue my dream of being a skilled worker in the building trades.


A contribution to VT Adult Learning helps career-oriented learners like Nicole train for new job opportunities!

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