Trinidad native and Queens resident Irving Jackson has won the coveted Movement Builders Award.
Jackson’s friends call him “Massive,” perhaps because the Trinidad native is, well, a big man in several respects.
Among other things, Jackson is a Weatherization Technician at Community Environmental Center (CEC), the Queens nonprofit that weatherizes low-income homes in Queens and Brooklyn. Starting at 8:00 in the morning, Jackson spends his days insulating walls and attics, weather-stripping doors and caulking windows. Definitely a job for a massive kind of guy.
Recognizing Jackson’s five-and-a-half years of dedicated work at CEC, New York Jobs with Justice and Urban Agenda presented him with a Movement Builders Award on Friday, April 29, at the Center for Architecure, 536 LaGuardia Place in Manhattan. Other awardees included Jackson’s colleague, Ruby Carrasquillo and their boss, CEC President Richard Cherry.
Jackson, who first learned his trade when he watched his father build furniture in Trinidad, is delighted by the recognition.
“When I go do a weatherization job,” he says, “I approach it with a green idea. I know what to put in place to make the customer save money on energy and to make my work even more durable and energy efficient.”
Plumbing is also in Jackson’s skill-set, and in 2009 he headed the CEC crew that installed solar hot-water systems for two multifamily buildings in Brooklyn — the first to be installed in Brooklyn under New York State’s Weatherization Assistance Program.
“The biggest challenge was bringing the system up to the roof,”jackson said. “Once it was there, everything else was basically 1-2-3.”
Being a mobile DJ at parties is also a Jackson talent, although he’s not in that line of work as much as he used to be.
He confesses: “My biggest ‘payday’ is seeing how pleased and how appreciative homeowners are when we make a house warmer and safer.
“We had a homeowner in Brooklyn. When the crew finished the house and she felt the difference, she actually cried. And that was heartwarming for me and the crew. It gives us great joy.”