About eight years ago, Call started focusing on energy efficient building construction, and as he says, he had plenty of work. Two years ago, his business employed six people and was doing a million dollars worth of business.
And then came the economic downturn.
Stimulus in Action: Follow Weatherization Dollars
Home Energy was hit hard. Last year it was down to about $340,000 worth of business. Call had to lay off four of his employees and by the end of the year he
After over 30 years, Hall thought he would have to close his business. But then fate - and stimulus - intervened.
Call was at a gas station at this time when he met Alan Veilleux, a former employee who had opened his own business. Veilleux told Call that thanks to the stimulus-funded weatherization program - the program increased to $122.1 million under the Recovery Act - there was enough work to put many companies like Call's back in business.
Stimulus in Action: Weatherization in MA
In fact, the Recovery Act's weatherization program is responsible for putting 25 new contracting companies to work and for keeping over 150 contractors - like Call -- busy. Over 4,000 homes have been weatherized in Massachusetts under the Recovery Act from September, 2009 through May 2010. Prior to the Recovery Act, the average number of homes that were weatherized a year was 2,000.
Call got in touch with the Weatherization Assistance Program and learned that they need more contractors. "We called and they said they're adding contractors," says Call. Call got jobs with Action and the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, both agencies Home Energy had worked with in the past.
Home Energy is now back up to five employees and
"Stimulus kept contractors like us in business," he says. "We would have gone out of business without it."