• July 28, 2014

New ‘green’ construction company hires veterans

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Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2014 4:30 am

EcoGrunt Home Improvements is a new “green” construction and remodeling company dedicated to hiring skilled veterans.

The company was the brainchild of Sgt. Alec Haggerty, serving with the 1st Cavalry Division. When he saw a line of soldiers standing outside an armed forces staffing agency, Haggerty decided to start a business doing what he loves — construction — as a way to employ veterans.

“I know I can’t help everyone, but maybe if I do this it will start a chain reaction,” Haggerty said.

Haggerty began an online campaign at gofundme.com to raise money for construction projects for combat veterans who need their homes remodeled to accommodate their injuries. For every dollar donated, he will donate services through EcoGrunt. He also will construct a “supporters’ wall” with bricks engraved with the names of financial supporters.

“It’s not cheap to put in a wheelchair ramp or remodel your bathroom,” said Haggerty, who is leaving the Army in two months.

Growing up in West Virginia, Haggerty witnessed “neighbors helping neighbors” to get jobs done. Haggerty comes from a family of military service and construction, and loves making something functional and pretty.

Jeannette Jimenez, his fiancée, supports Haggerty’s business endeavor because it’s helping veterans.

“Alec told me his idea a year ago, and I’ll help by doing whatever I can to make it a success,” Jimenez said.

With five experienced workers ranging in age from 19 to 38 — all active-duty or retired military, no job is too big or small for EcoGrunt. In the few months since Haggerty started the business, EcoGrunt finished 15 jobs, including clean-outs, deck additions, a rock wall and several small kitchen remodels. Recycled building products and nonhazardous chemicals are used to clean houses.

“We guarantee having a bathroom or kitchen remodel with new appliances, cabinets, painting and flooring functional in five days,” Haggerty said. “After we get it functional, then we make it pretty.”

Positive client feedback has encouraged Haggerty to keep striving for his goals. He conducts business from his home but plans to open a storefront in six months.

A year from now, he hopes to have 15 veterans employed, but Haggerty will hire whoever is right for the job. “We’re a smaller company that does good work with skilled workers at reasonable prices, and we want to be a one-stop construction shop,” Haggerty said. EcoGrunt Home Improvements LLC can be reached at 254-466-7866 or ecogrunts.com. Donate at gofundme.com/5iifbc.

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