In mid-August 2018, thousands of homes in Madison, WI were affected by flooding, in the wake of an awful storm. Many homeowners suffering from flood damage had feet of water in their homes—when just inches of water would do damage enough. It is in the aftermath of this devastation that Sweeney became involved in many local basement restoration projects.
This is where our story begins.
One hard hit homeowner was Fanny, a well-known member of the local Madison church. When Tim was referred to her, this spry elderly lady had just celebrated her 100th birthday. As a result of the flooding, Fanny’s home had suffered significant damage. But, living by herself on a fixed yearly income, she didn’t have sufficient funds to cover all of the necessary repairs. Her story immediately touched Tim and the rest of the Sweeney crew. They worked to come up with a solution to help Fanny restore her beloved home.
Sweeney enlisted the help of several contractors to do specific work. Then, for work outside the contractors’ scope, Tim solicited help from the Madison Area Technical College (MATC) one year construction and remodeling program. MATC would donate free labor, substantially reducing Fanny’s costs, while providing real hands-on training for their students, and all under Sweeney’s professional supervision.
What started as an effort to help Fanny, has evolved into an ongoing partnership with MATC.
Since 2018, Sweeney and the MATC students have taken on a variety of low-funding projects in the Madison area, including kitchen cabinet upgrades in a community-based housing project called Porchlight, a bedroom suite upgrade in The Healing House, in partnership with Operation Fresh Start, and a whole house remodel for a family with seventeen kids.
Why does Sweeney continue its involvement?
“We truly are a people-centered business and deeply care about the people in our community,” Tim said. “It not only brings us great joy to touch homeowners’ lives, we also are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be educators, preserving the integrity of our craft and developing skilled labor in Madison, WI.”
Passionate about remodeling and preserving the integrity of quality craftsmanship, Sweeney seeks to spark a similar interest and passion in construction in young adults at MATC—teaching them viable trade skills and educating them on their earning potential, particularly without the burden of college debt.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects faster-than-average employment growth in the industry through 2026, with more than half (485,600) of new jobs overall expected in specialty trade contractors.
Teaching is also near and dear to Tim’s heart. With a gift for gab, and an authentic interest in helping people, Tim thrives in a classroom setting. “The remodeling industry needs ambassadors to protect and uphold industry standards, said Tim. “While college degrees are also important, the skilled trades is an incredible vocation—a great way to make an honest living, with so many wonderful benefits.”
Through Sweeney’s involvement with MATC and other community-based projects like Operation Fresh Start, they plan to continue their mission to support skilled trades and touch people’s lives.
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