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Energy and Green Intiatives, Healthy Homes Initiative, Weatherization

Women of Weatherization (#9)

The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) has been around for over 40 years and has served over 7.4 million households, saving families money and making their homes healthier and safer. From the very beginning of the WAP’s history, women have been a driving force in weatherization. This post is part of a month long feature for Women’s History Month. Each post will highlight a few of the women working across the country in the Weatherization Assistance Program. You can join the conversation on social media with the hashtag: #WomenOfWAP

Featured in this post…

Amy Bryant– Weatherization Director, Arkansas 

Angelina Soper– Home & Energy Director, California 

Jackie A. Peyton– Weatherization Coordinator, Georgia 

Amanda McQueen, Intake Worker, California 


Amy Bryant

Weatherization Director/Quality Control Inspector, Pine Bluff Jefferson County E.O.C., Arkansas

bryant

1.How did you first get interested and involved in weatherization?

I took a temporary job as a housing assistant where I learned to enter the applications and audit details into the software program. The job for weatherization coordinator came available when the person I was filling in for retired.

2.Tell us about your current and past roles in the WAP.

I have worn many hats in my 10 years with WAP. I have entered applications, been the Energy Auditor and Client Education specialist, QCI, and Weatherization Director.

3.What is it like being a woman in weatherization? Advantages? Challenges?

To me being a woman in weatherization is no different than any other job. Some advantages is that the clients feel more comfortable letting strangers in their homes. A lot of the clients are elderly women or single women with children.

4.Why do you work in weatherization? What about your job makes you excited to go to work in the morning?

I work in weatherization because I love helping other people. I drive an hour and a half everyday to work. So I have to love my job. Knowing I have helped someone be able to stay in their home because now it is more comfortable, safer, and affordable is very rewarding.

5.Do you have advice for other women interested in joining the weatherization field?

The only advice I can give is go for it. It is a rewarding job. There are classes out them to teach you to be an Energy Auditor or Quality Control Inspector.


Angelina Soper

Home & Energy Director, Kings Community Action Organization, California

1.How did you first get interested and involved in weatherization?

I worked for about four years in the ESA PG&E program and had a real knack for it. At the time I was billing and scheduling for the program.

2.Tell us about your current and past roles in the WAP.

The PG&E Energy Savings Assistance Program is where I got my start in weatherization and construction. I was a billing and scheduling specialist for the program. Years later I accepted a position as Program Director for Kings Community Action Organization leading the Weatherization and Utilities Programs.

3.What is it like being a woman in weatherization? Advantages? Challenges?

As this is a construction related field, I definitely feel that there are challenges. It’s not as easy to blend into the group when meeting at various networking events. I’ve been very fortunate to work for an agency who has received me so graciously.

4.Why do you work in weatherization? What about your job makes you excited to go to work in the morning?

Working in weatherization provides a unique way to help families that’s off the beaten path. It allows me to use my own skills to assist in the greater good.

5.Do you have advice for other women interested in joining the weatherization field?

If you’re good at it, do what makes you happy, and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. This is a rewarding field for anyone who is interested in getting involved.


Jackie A. Peyton

Weatherization Coordinator, Middle Georgia Community Action Agency

peyton

1.How did you first get interested and involved in weatherization?

I was placed in the Weatherization Department of my agency  by my supervisor. Someone was needed in that department and she had faith in me. I am appreciative of that.

2.Tell us about your current and past roles in the WAP.

I was previously WAP supervisor.  As I was new to the program, I took every opportunity my agency allowed me to increase my knowledge of the program through various training. I eventually received certification for Building Analyst Professional.  With my new knowledge and certification I was awarded a new position of Weatherization Coordinator.

3.What is it like being a woman in weatherization? Advantages? Challenges?

As a woman I feel empowered by the technical details I have learned about weatherization and am particularly excited to get started weatherizing my own home.  It can be challenging at times due to the misunderstanding that weatherization is ‘man’s work.’ Energy saving is a people issue!

4.Why do you work in weatherization? What about your job makes you excited to go to work in the morning?

I work in weatherization because I truly feel we make a difference in the daily lives of many community members.  I am excited to go to work every day knowing I am helping strengthen my community. Any one thing we can improve in our community makes us a stronger, closer community.  That makes me happy.

5.Do you have advice for other women interested in joining the weatherization field?

Don’t be afraid to get dirty!


Amanda McQueen

Intake Worker, North Coast Energy Services, California

1.How did you first get interested and involved in weatherization?

I was originally a receptionist but then they needed someone to do the billing and they asked me to fill the position.

2.Tell us about your current and past roles in the WAP.

I do the billing for all of the Yolo, Napa, and Solano county files

3.What is it like being a woman in weatherization? Advantages? Challenges?

I don’t really have a background in construction or weatherization so it took me a while to learn how to bill some of the more complicated jobs that the crews would submit. This was a challenge but it also equips me with some of the knowledge I need to explain the program to our clients when they have questions or if I need do some marketing for the program.

4.Why do you work in weatherization? What about your job makes you excited to go to work in the morning?

I get to help people every day. I really like to talk to our clients and help them feel at ease with the process. I want them to know that we care, we can empathize with their circumstances that lead them to our program, and we want to help make their home a more comfortable place for them to live.

5. Do you have advice for other women interested in joining the weatherization field?

Be compassionate and know how to communicate effectively

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