Dube is the owner of A&M General Contracting, which is headquartered in Peabody. According to Dube, business had been slowing down for the past few years. Dube consistently had about 11 employees and in 2008 he did about $1 million in gross sales. In the summer of 2009, though, A&M began to feel the impact of the Recovery Act's weatherization program, which was $122 million - a sharp increase from the $6.8 million that defined the program prior to the Recovery Act.
By the summer of 2009 A&M began to fell the stimulus impact. Suddenly, the company was busy - really busy.
"When [stimulus] first started, the fax machine was printing so fast," says
A&M is now fixing about five to six homes a day. The company contracts with nine anti-poverty agencies throughout the North Shore and Central Massachusetts. Dube says that he went from three crews to six, and hired an additional 10 employees. "Some of the guys we hired were unemployed, others were just about to be laid off," says Dube.
One of those guys is Dennis Condo, who had been working with a roofing company in Peabody. When business slowed down, Condo's employer told him and some of the other employees to start looking for other work. Condo says he would be out of work for weeks at a time and it was getting harder and harder to find jobs. Condo, who has three children, knew some of the people who worked at A&M and after the stimulus projects started, he was able to get a job with the company.
The stimulus also did a lot for Nida Olmeda, one of A&M's clients. Her house in Waltham had no insulation for the seven years she, her son, her brother and his son lived there. She told Lavie that the house was freezing in the winter. Thanks to the weatherization work on her house, it will now be fully insulated and Lavie estimates that their energy bills could be cut by about 30 percent. "This will be very helpful," says Olmedo.
Dube can also quantify stimulus' help on his company. He says the first year of the program - 2009 - his sales doubled to $2 million. He anticipates that in 2010 he will have done $3 million in sales.
"[Stimulus] had quite an impact on gross sales," he says.