“It just seemed wherever I went, I’d always end up building something,” said Mike Jecker.
Jecker has been a carpenter for as long as he can remember.
He’s built greenhouses, cottages and home décor from salvaged materials.
“When you take a two story house, when you take that down, there’s enough material in that two story house to build a single-story home, so why not recycle it into a building,” Jecker said.
His current project is an addition on his home. Jecker said finding materials in the area for deconstruction is easy. While knocking down buildings may be needed in some areas, there’s something to be said for the walls that once stood.
“You need both. You can’t have just all deconstruction or all demolition. It’s a hand in hand glove that goes together,” Jecker said.
Now that Jecker is retired, he wants someone to continue what he started. He says deconstruction can create tons of jobs, something that’s much needed in the city of Fairmont.
“If we’re going to continue just to take a big building with a big machine, smash it down, that’s a two man job,” Jecker said. “That’s it. We can take a four or five man crew, put those people to work and recycle this material.”
Jecker employed an autistic teen years ago through his business Jecker’s wreckers.
He said this is the perfect industry to give disabled residents a chance at work.
“To be able to teach them how to pull a nail is pretty simple,” Jecker said. We need to create jobs. Deconstruction will create a lot of jobs.”
Allowing them to be a part of something meaningful, he said is priceless.
“The best part about all of that is comradery,” Jecker said. “You’re taking people who are downtrodden basically that don’t have much hope and you give them hope, when they get together they got comradery. When they got comradery they got spirit.”