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BIOSAFE Environmental Services Inc. touts itself as a leader in lead and asbestos removal and has worked for more than a decade making homes hazard-free. So it came as a surprise to Mark Coleman, president and founder of BIOSAFE, when in 2003 he received an interesting proposal from Maine’s regional community action programs.

“They realized we had talent in . . . lead abatement and home repair and approached us about expanding into weatherization,” he said. 

Mark welcomed the chance to collaborate with the community action groups to grow the business and offer employment to out-of-work individuals, he says. “We saw an opportunity to create job growth through federal funding and to assist low-income families.”

According to the company, BIOSAFE has completed about $2 million worth of weatherization projects with the help of Recovery Act funds from the U.S. Department of Energy. The funding helps families lower energy costs through simple home improvements like installing insulation in walls and ceilings to prevent heat from escaping — a necessity during the cold Maine winter. 

The small business started off with two trucks and six technicians devoted to weatherization. Now, with the increasing demand for weatherization upgrades, BIOSAFE’s staff has grown to 30 technicians who have weatherized more than 500 homes, according to the company.    

Mark credits BIOSAFE’s impressive growth to the staff’s commitment to exceptional customer service and quality weatherization work. Thank-you notes he has received from clients praise his technicians’ hard work and express gratitude for the substantial increase in energy savings they’ve noticed.

“These letters, many handwritten, speak to the quality and expertise we have,” Mark says. 

The company has become an important partner in delivering energy-efficient upgrades to communities in Maine. And the most satisfying part of it, Mark says, has been the opportunity to give back.

As he puts it, ”When you give, you receive.”