Robert Crews
Two years ago, Robert Crews was out of work and out of options. At 58, he was worried that finding a job at his age would be difficult.

Recovery Act Impact: Weatherization in MA

  • Weatherization program in MA: $122.1 million

  • Over 7,700 homes weatherized in MA through December 2010

  • Over 25 new weatherization contracting companies formed

  • Over 150 weatherization contractors kept busy

  • 2,300 jobs created/retained through December 2010

But when Crews saw a flier for Operation A.B.L.E.'s new stimulus-funded Weatherization Energy and Audit Training course (WEAT), he had a feeling this was what he needed to get himself back on track. Operation A.B.L.E. of Greater Boston provides employment and training opportunities to those who are over 45.

He was right.

In the mid 1970s, Crews had worked for Action for Boston Community Development in its weatherization program. He started as a crew member and quickly worked himself up to crew chief and then coordinator in charge of 15 crews. "I knew the work," said Crews.

Crews knew the basics of weatherization but the WEAT program was able to fill him in on all the changes that have happened to the weatherization program over the past 25 years.

Robert Crews in his WEAT class
He learned how to use a computer to "blow" a door to pressurize the house to see air leaks. He learned to use an infrared camera to detect where there is heat in a house. "I got up to speed," said Crews. "There is something new in this field every day but the basics are still the same."

When Crews finished the course, he was offered a position with ABLE teaching the WEAT course. He took it. "I wasn't sure I would enjoy the teaching but I do," he said. "It's good because I really know what I'm talking about."