A Habitat volunteer supervising other volunteers

A Habitat volunteer supervising other volunteers

Eric Koskinen worked in construction and real estate for years and now shares his knowledge as a volunteer supervisor on Habitat build sites in New Jersey. “I’m very comfortable on a construction site and working with tools and with my hands,” says Eric, a volunteer with Habitat Bergen County.

Eric’s experience and ability are valuable as he helps guide volunteers through the tasks at hand and helps the site run smoothly.

“If the job supervisor has more than six or seven people on the site, it’s not a good situation,” Eric says. “You’re going to have people sitting around with their hands in their pockets. You have safety issues, and you’re going to be sending volunteers away who didn’t get the best they could from the experience.”

Eric takes a smaller group, discusses the day’s work and allows them to get going. “I try to step back as much as possible and let them do the work,” he says.

Eric wants everyone to feel a sense of accomplishment. “In home construction, there is a very tangible product that you had something to do with. You can see it,” Eric says. “They step back and actually admire this project they just did.

“That is the best part of the whole day.”