The Herald Bulletin

October 26, 2013

Nonprofit moving company offers training to the unemployed and underemployed

Founder says he works for free

By Traci L. Moyer
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ANDERSON — John Aukerman is a no-nonsense businessman.

“We have to play by the rules,” he said.

Aukerman is the founder and chief executive officer of Quality Moving Service, a nonprofit moving company that is registered with the state, has insurance and its workers pay withholding and Social Security taxes.

No job is paid under the table.

But what makes the Anderson moving company unique is that Quality Moving Service, 1214 Oakland Drive, does not own a moving truck.

And Aukerman refuses to collect a single paycheck from his company.

“I have a day job,” he said with a laugh. “I’m not in this to make any money. I want to help the unemployed and underemployed learn a trade.”

Customers must rent a moving truck and then, for an hourly fee, Aukerman, who operates his business out of his home, will supervise two movers providing the labor needed for people to relocate.

A former professional mover, Aukerman said there is a demand for quality movers and he wants to train people for jobs where they can excel. According to the American Moving & Storage Association, the industry employs approximately 122,600 people and has an annual payroll of $3.6 billion.

“It’s a multibillion-dollar industry and there is almost always a shortage of good workers,” Aukerman said. “These are guys looking to make an honest living somewhere.”

Aukerman, an ordained minister since 1977, wants to help people like Patrick Johnson.

“He has given me a chance,” Johnson said. “I’ve had a lot more high-profile jobs, but I got a DUI and ended up losing my last job.

“I had a drinking problem.”

Johnson has worked on and off in the moving business for a number of years, but struggled to find employment when Aukerman offered him a job.

“He wants to help people who have had problems in their life,” Johnson said.

Fran Tedrow of Anderson heard about Quality Moving Service from her pastor’s wife and used them when she moved from Middletown in May.

“I can’t recommend them high enough,” Tedrow said.”They worked hard and it was a hot day that day.”

This is not the first time Tedrow has hired someone to help her move, but she said they are the best movers she has ever hired. She is so happy with their service she carries their business card so she can recommend them to other people.

“The owner is trying to do a service to get those men back on their feet and they were all nice and really great guys,” she said.

“We could not be more pleased with their service.”

Aukerman said customer service is an important skill that he teaches his employees.

“Sometimes you get movers who don’t care about your furniture and people will have a family heirloom that gets crushed,” he said.

“We handle everything with care.”

Like Traci L. Moyer on Facebook and follow her @moyyer on Twitter, or call 648-4250.

Did you know? -- The moving industry is composed mostly of small businesses and 47.8 percent of the companies employ fewer than five people. -- Each year more than 36.4 million people move and more than 83 percent of those who relocate move to a residence within the same state. -- The No. 1 reason people decide to move is for a better home or apartment. Source: American Moving & Storage Association, US Census 2011-12