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Contractor Accelerator Success Story: Shawn Yadon

Shawn Yadon was one of nine contractors who graduated from the Oregon Contractor Development Pathway (CDP) in November 2022. Elevate implemented the program for Energy Trust of Oregon in partnership with Burch Energy Services and TRC Companies. 

Shawn’s Story

Shawn has been in the contracting business for 17 years and heard about the program through the National Association of Minority Contractors. Having been interested in energy efficiency for a while, he decided to apply. He recognized that expanding into efficiency work would provide opportunities for both himself and his customers.  

“In the HVAC world, knowing about energy efficiency brings value to your customers. And then as well, anytime you can conserve, you should try to conserve.” 

Building a Business in Energy Efficiency 

Since completing the program, one of the biggest changes that Shawn has experienced is a new perspective on energy efficiency and how he and his team approach projects.  

“Having that forward-thinking mindset on some of these things was something that I didn’t really think of as much before. I said to my project guys, ‘Hey, when we’re out doing some of this work or bidding, let’s look at the energy efficiency mindset.’ So, our goal is we’re going to create a new procedure now because we got the information and anytime, we can go look at a project and ask, ‘Would this qualify for energy efficiency?’”  

Making Connections

Shawn was able to use the program funds to develop a new website for his business, Yadon Mechanical. Additionally, the program helped him make new connections in the industry that have brought him value even after the program was completed. 

“I felt like it gave me connections. Getting in with this group of individuals, the networking honestly was probably most important for me. If you have partners in the industry, you have different people you can bounce ideas off and talk with. Having that resource and that communication with people in energy efficiency, that’s going to change my mindset.” 

Those connections, says Shawn, go beyond just the mindset shift. They can also be an important resource on the job.   

“A lot of things are just connections. I could have never worked on a certain boiler before. But I know people I can call that have worked on that boiler. So, if someone asks, hey, can you work on this type of boiler or this chiller system? I’ll say, yeah, absolutely. And even if I’ve never touched that boiler before, I can go out there on site, call this person I know, and I can get the download and know exactly what to do.” 

Overall, Shawn sees this work as being a part of a greater change in how energy conservation and efficiency are seen, a change that he is excited to be a part of.  

“It’s a part of the shift and what I want to have from the beginning. I think it’s that whole cohesive thing. If you’re in this space, you’re working with these people that are in this world, then it just morphs your whole vision.” 

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