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On-the-job training helps families, environment
Work crews from Community Services and Employment Training — CSET’s — Sequoia Community Corps have been gaining work experience while helping qualifying families lower their utility bills.
On Friday, one crew worked diligently all morning weatherizing a home in the 200 block of East Oak Avenue.
Sequoia Community Corps — an organization that helps young men and women, ages 18 to 25, with job training, education, leadership and environmental awareness through community and conservation work projects — has several programs, including a weatherization program.
“We weatherize houses, putting in windows, doors, sliding doors and stripping,” said Corps member Chelsea Lopez. “Everything is provided and we learn new experiences.”
Lopez, Julio Garcia and Johnny Mendoza, the crew leader, worked with Eric Reynoso on the home.
“We do this to make the homes more energy-efficient,” said Reynoso, the Corps’ weatherization supervisor. “This helps people save money on energy expenses.”
Four separate crews work on approximately eight homes a day, Lopez said.
“Clients can call us and we’ll schedule them to go through the progress,” Lopez said. “They need to qualify for the project.”
The weatherization improvements can include weather stripping exterior doors, installing low-flow shower heads and water-heater blankets, glass and window replacement, furnace repair or replacement, gas appliance repair or replacement, ceiling insulation and minor home repairs.
“We also have three tests we run, checking for carbon monoxide,” Mendoza said.
Heating, cooling and combustion-safety tests are also checked.
The corps members, supervised by CSET’s certified on-staff contractors, develop useful skills while receiving on-the-job training. To date, they have weatherized more than 3,600 homes in Tulare County.
Eligible clients must meet program income guidelines and be identified as “priority” under program guidelines.
To find out if one qualifies, call the CSET Weatherization hotline at 741-4649.
People who do not qualify for the free weatherization services, can learn about additional energy efficiency services at www.myenergyupgrades.com.
Contact Esther Avila at 784-5000, Ext. 1045. Follow her on Twitter @Avila_recorder.