Michigan's AmeriCorps Member of the Month
After receiving a degree in interior design from Kendall College of Ferris State, Tom Hunton was looking to gain some practical experience that would allow him to put his skills to good use. Tom became an AmeriCorps member through the Michigan Habitat’s AmeriCorps program, which is administered by Habitat for Humanity of Michigan.
Habitat for Humanity of Michigan places AmeriCorps members with local Habitat for Humanity affiliates and related agencies around the state of Michigan to provide access to safe, energy-efficient, affordable housing to low-income residents. Members in this program are responsible for serving on construction sites and other housing projects, assisting partner homeowners through the process of applying for a mortgage or repair programs, or recruiting and training volunteers for housing projects.
Tom is now in his second year of full-time AmeriCorps service and has found that his skills are an ideal fit for the Construction Liaison position with Habitat for Humanity of Kent County. He has been eager to learn more about sustainable construction techniques and was able to attend a Habitat Michigan construction conference. He also completed an OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) 30-hour course to ensure safety is the number one priority on sites.
“Tom has been extremely valuable to the construction operations,” stated Brandyn Deckinga, Director of Construction for Habitat for Humanity of Kent County. “His role varies between service in the office and service out in the field, depending on the greatest need. Tom’s time in the office is spent utilizing his design and organizational skills.”
Tom has completed multiple projects using 3D rendering software to create detailed renderings of a multi-family townhouse that was built this past spring. Tom has also used his CADD expertise to help design and draw multiple plans for veterans in need of accessibility ramps. These detailed drawings help save the affiliate time and money, but also help the homeowners fully understand the scope of the projects.
Tom also spends time on construction sites helping to assist project supervisors in maintaining steady work for volunteers, as well as ensuring safety. His willingness to learn and teach volunteers has been very beneficial to progress on build sites and the overall volunteer experience.