Employing Young Workers in Weatherization 

A crew of young adults has been working hard for the past few weeks to weatherize a home in Bangor. Friday, they gave the governor a tour of what they’ve accomplished.Violet Smith has lived in this big house for nearly 35 years, but this winter she’ll be a little warmer thanks to the work of these young men.”There was no insulation in the house at all. The sides of the house, the porch wasn’t heated so it was all going out through there. So we pulled up the floorboards and put insulation in there, and through the walls,” says 24-year-old Jamie Goodall, of Bangor.They added two tons of environmentally-friendly insulation to Violet’s home to make it more efficient and cut heating costs. They’re part of the Young Mainers Weatherization Corps.The state program uses stimulus funds under the Workforce Investment Act, to teach work and life skills to Mainers between the ages of 18 and 24.”I’d like to do this as my life-long career, definitely,” says Goodall.”These are tools that I’ll be able to not only take with me in the future but to be able to do this in my own house. It’s just good tools to know,” says 18-year-old Adam Smith, of Corinth.The governor says the program is like a smaller version of the Civilian Conservation Corps, employing people who need jobs with work that needs to be done.”I thought it was important since we were making this attempt on energy, new energy, wind energy, that we get the young people involved – like they did in Roosevelt’s administration – and engage them in this whole field,” says Governor Baldacci.The program has about 60 young adults learning and working in weatherization throughout the state.”It’ll be warmer than it has been. I’m very grateful to have them do the house and to have such nice men working,” says Violet Smith.”It feels good helping people, making them nice and warm in the wintertime.”