Though very diverse, the new energy auditors hired in the weatherization department as a result of the federal stimulus money share two things in common—years of experience in the field and a passion for helping people.
Andy Hoff exemplifies this perfectly. Originally from South Bend, Hoff moved to Bloomington four years ago. He had worked as a carpenter for years and had spent several years working with Habitat for Humanity, but he said he didn’t even know about SCCAP when he first came to Bloomington.
He said he originally applied for a position about a year ago, but he was told the department didn’t have enough funds to hire him.
When the stimulus money came, however, Hoff got the call. He started training in February.
He said his goal is to be the best auditor possible, leaving the state nothing to catch on inspection. He also said his interest in the position is two-fold; part of the drive is the science of the work and the unique challenges each home possesses, but the other, bigger aspect is the eye-opening experience of seeing how those in low income situations live every day.
Frank Peacock, originally from Crawfordsville, echoed many of Hoff’s motivations.
He said he had been in home remodeling for 12 years and had his own painting business for 10 years before starting at the SCCAP in July.
He and his wife, who have four children together, have always been involved with helping people with lower incomes, and his wife used to be a Head Start teacher.
“I just have a heart for people who might not know what kind of danger they might be in,” Peacock said.
He said he hopes to use the new position the stimulus money has provided to utilize his skills to help better the community and learn in the process, as well as taking the opportunity to spend more time with his family.
Family is also important for Jason Hickman, hired in June, who was married in July to his girlfriend of 13 years, with whom he has 2 children.
Hickman had worked for a Bloomington company for 10 years, and he thought he would work there all his life until he realized it couldn’t provide everything he and his family needed.
He thought he would go out for himself, and he said he wasn’t really looking for anything when he went to a job fair and heard about the SCCAP position. But after his interview, he said, he started getting really excited about the opportunity.
Hickman said, like the other new auditors, he has been helping people all his life, and the position catered to that perfectly. He said his goals for the job are to help as many people as possible and to help CAP do that in the most efficient way possible.
“If anything I read or learn is going to help me help them [weatherization participants], I’m all about that,” he said.
The newest and final auditor, Dave Pankoski, started on Oct. 5 and is still settling in to the position.