Chuckanut Builders creates jobs in tough economy
October 13, 2011
Media contact: Alex Ramel, Sustainable Connections Energy and Policy Manager, (360) 305-5079, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenny Rae, Chuckanut Builders Admin Manager, (360) 319-4045, email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2011 – Bellingham, WA
Local contractor creates jobs in tough economy
BELLINGHAM, WA – Just over a year and a half ago, Chuckanut Builders owners Forest Chiavario, Howard Mortimer and Ian Rae took a leap of faith starting their business in the midst of the housing slump, but the decision is starting to pay off.
Despite the tough economy, the contractor has also managed to grow, adding seven employees in the past year and have been gaining recognition for their innovative work. They attribute much of their success to being selected as a contractor for the Community Energy Challenge.
Chuckanut Builders began with the goal of specializing in energy efficient remodeling, tenant improvements, and new home construction. Soon after they opened, they were chosen through a request for qualifications process as a Community Energy Challenge (CEC) contractor. The CEC, which is a partnership between the Opportunity Council and Sustainable Connections, provides participating households and businesses with a full energy assessment and a customized action plan for energy savings. They also help homeowners and businesses apply for utility and tax rebates, financing and quality assurance.
As one of the selected contractors for this program, Chuckanut Builders has received training with the Building Performance Center, has had a steady flow of work and been introduced to many new clients. In addition, much of the CEC work allows Chuckanut Builders to pay their employees prevailing wage.
Prevailing wage employment is established by the Department of Labor and Industries for each trade and occupation employed in public work. The use of prevailing wage in this program enables the CEC to leverage their funding to support the local economy by paying a living wage to workers while also advancing the development of green building and weatherization in Whatcom County.
From the start, one of the primary goals of Chuckanut Builders has been to provide permanent, livable-wage employment in Whatcom County. Out of the seven new employees, four work full time on CEC projects. The CEC has provided both classroom and hands on training that is influencing all of the projects Chuckanut Builders complete.
“Starting a new business in this economy was not easy, however with support from the community Chuckanut Builders is managing to grow, pay their employees a livable wage, and are continuing to do what they love,” Ian Rae, Chuckanut Builders co-owner said. “We have many people in the community to thank: the Community Energy Challenge, clients, subcontractors, suppliers, friends and family.”
More information about the Community Energy Challenge can be found at www.communityenergychallenge.org.