Nicole, age 37, spent several years working in human services before deciding she wanted to build a career in weatherization. She had managed farmers’ markets and advocated for EBT options so Vermonters experiencing low incomes could purchase fresh, local foods. She organized a program that sent 120 volunteers into K-3 public school classrooms to help students develop literacy skills. She also worked for mental health agencies.
“I was working and looking for a career change,” Nicole said. “I’d been toggling between environmental sustainability and human services in my search for purpose-driven work.”
Weatherization was a long-simmering interest for Nicole. Weatherization checked so many boxes or her: sustainability, poverty relief, social determinants of health, and addressing the inequitable impacts of climate change.
“I got on my computer, read about Energy Works, and decided I was just going to apply,” Nicole said. “I’m glad I did. The instructor was so knowledgeable and relaxed. Any question I had, he willingly answered. His teaching style was very conversational. He did a fantastic job. Going hands on, within the first days, was extremely helpful. It helped me ask myself, ‘Can I handle working in an attic or being in a basement for half a day?’ (She could.) It was boots on the ground within the first days and the technical skills—power tools, principles of building design—were so helpful.”
“The Energy Works training was a very positive experience,” Nicole said. “I don’t think anything could have prepared me better. I am so grateful that the State of Vermont recognizes the benefits of weatherization and is investing in this training as a service to their citizens.”
“Nicole was actively engaged during all parts of the weatherization/job skills training,” said Jeff Nerney, Energy Works Coordinator. “I believe she has a bright future in the green economy.”
Learn more about our upcoming Energy Works trainings. Contact Jeff Nerney at [email protected] or (802) 779-0057.