Nonprofit moving company offers training to underemployed

Fri, 2013-11-01 08:29 -- univcomm
November 1, 2013

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. [Editor's note: John Aukerman is a professor of Christian education in the Anderson University School of Theology.]

No job is paid under the table. [Photo: Quality Moving Service, from left, Chad Neuman, John Aukerman and Randy Aukerman.]

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.”

— Traci L. Moyer is a reporter for The Herald Bulletin. Photo credit: Don Knight. Story republished with permission.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of about 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.