One Superintendent's Path to a Green Job

Posted by Nick Prigo - On January 27, 2011 (EST)

Editor’s Note: Nick Prigo is a guest blogger and Green Buildings Metrics Analyst for the 32BJ Thomas Shortman Training Fund in New York City, which received a $2.8million U.S. DOL Energy Training Partnership Grant to fund its program 1,000 Green Supers. To learn more about the program that Victor Nazario graduated from view last week's post.

In 1978, Victor Nazario went looking for a job as a doorman in New York City. He was hired as a temporary doorman at a luxurious Central Park South building, but what the then 18-year-old discovered while he was working there changed his life. Nazario, a young exuberant teen met a fellow Latino who was the building's resident manager. Nazario was taken back by the idea that a minority could have such a nice job. Intrigued, he asked the manager how he got the job.

The resident manager first told Nazario that he could have a job like that too, through the free schooling through 32BJ. "Nobody gave me permission before to have a job like that. I didn't think I could." Nazario says that this information was a life changer for him. He immediately signed up for the free courses and earned his first superintendent job when he was just 21 years old.

If his inspiring story just ended here, it would be pretty impressive, but for this enthusiastic young man, it was only the start of his accomplishments. "I was the first one in my family to ever graduate high school and the first one to go to college and it was because 32BJ opened up my eyes as to what I can do," he says. He has since gone on to earn his doctorate in theology.

"My kids won't know what it is to say, 'I don't think I can do that,'" he says. Nazario has been in the business for 29 years and has been the resident manager of The Whitney at 311 East 38th Street for the last six years. He is responsible for 118 units and eight employees, including porters, doormen, and handymen. Never one to stop learning, he became one of the first participants of the 1,000 Green Supers program with Douglas Elliman property management, where he learned skills to reduce energy use, save money, and operate and maintain his building efficiently. "The industry is always morphing and I wanted to learn more," he says.

"This program really changed the way I view my building. When I first entered the industry years ago a super's job was simply to fix things and handle emergencies, and that is what we learned to do. This class [The 1,000 Green Supers program] really made me think about the way I superintend and reflect on how I had done my job to date. It taught me to look at my building as a system, to think about how the building envelope effects heat flow, how the roof impacts air movement, and how lighting effects heat loads."

Nazario reviewed his building from top to bottom to see the changes he could make so it was more energy-efficient. He has already implemented changes including fixing doors that remained partially opened, installing motion sensors in service rooms, compactor rooms, laundry rooms and storage rooms, rewrapping piping and changing light bulbs to those that are more energy efficient."

Victor has since gone on to receive the Green Building Service Worker of the Year Award from Manhattan Media and 32BJ SEIU, and appeared in a televised Public Service Announcement for the City of New York promoting recycling.

User Comments (1)
On January 27, 2011  Thao Nelson said:
Inspirational for sure! Talk about a life changer for Victor.

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Modified On : January 27, 2011
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