Jeff Masters Hurricane Blog

“I love this work.” Boston-area man finds his calling in the weatherization industry » Yale Climate Connections

A year ago, Juan Wilkins was working temporary jobs in the Boston area, unsure about his future.

“It was hard for me to find something that was permanent,” he says. “I was really undecided what I wanted to do.”

Now he works as a weatherization technician, making schools and commercial buildings more energy efficient. He helps add insulation to attics, air-seal crawl spaces, weatherstrip doors, and caulk windows.

Wilkins is a graduate of Bridges to Green Jobs. It’s a two-week training program offered by the Boston chapter of Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a nonprofit.

Program manager Silvana Bastante Muñoz says jobs in energy efficiency are growing quickly in Massachusetts.

“The employers are in high need of weatherization technicians,” she says.

So this program teaches residents of underserved neighborhoods the hands-on skills they’ll need for jobs in the field and connects them with potential employers.

Wilkins was hired right after finishing the program and now has a steady job in an industry where he sees opportunities for advancement.

“I’m actually sharpening my skills and trying to be crew leader to earn more money and to get more knowledge on weatherizing,” he says. “I love this work.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media

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