David Jennings, head mechanic, has worked for Black Hills Works for nearly 17 years. He and his assistant, Haiden Janssen, maintain a fleet of over 120 vehicles. When asked what would make his job easier, David quickly responded, “a two-post hoist.”
A two-post hoist allows David and Haiden to lift vehicles safely, with all four tires exposed. They are able to get under the vehicle to rotate and change tires, do oil changes, and brake jobs. The impact will provide for safer and more efficient repairs, allowing the vehicles to be returned to service quicker, with less outsourcing, saving the agency money.
When word of this need got around, key members of our community answered the call. Deann Arneson and her son, Harry, were the first to step forward. Harry is supported by Black Hills Works, and both he and Deann understood the impact such a gift would mean on so many of Harry’s peers. David’s brother, William Jennings also donated.
Arneson and William’s generosity inspired the Black Hills Area Community Foundation to approve a Capacity Grant request to cover the rest of the cost.
Carrie Robley, Programs Manager, recently got a tour of the Black Hills Works Mechanics’ shop, including the hoist her organization helped make possible. She appreciates the impact of well-maintained vehicles, which connect each of us to our lives. It’s the very definition of “capacity,” a great fit for the Black Hills Area Community Foundation’s Capacity Grant.
“When assessing need, I always encourage our board to consider what a program would look like if a certain resource was taken away or not available,” Carrie said. “Looking at a need from that perspective helps me appreciate just how fundamental something is to a program.”
Without question, transportation is fundamental to achieving the mission of Black Hills Works. Our vehicles travel more than a million miles every year, and with that much use, and onsite hoist makes the important jobs of Dave and Haiden safer and more efficient.
“I know that providing safe, reliable transportation helps the people we support to achieve their life goals and have the best possible days,” said David. “The hoist will help us do our job that much better.”