VGM builds new division

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

WATRLOO, Iowa--The VGM Group in February got even more serious about expanding into the hot-and-getting-hotter home modification business.

It created a new division, Accessible Home Improvement of America (AHIA), to help providers cash in on the 76 million baby boomers who will retire over the next 10 years or so.

“This is something that I think is going to be huge,” said Jim Andreassen, president of AHIA.

Added Jerry Keiderling, president of VGM’s U.S. Rehab: “These are people who have money, or they have the ability to get it. They know what grandma and grandpa or mom and dad went through in a nursing home, and they are not going there.”

VGM entered the home modifications market in 2006, when U.S. Rehab began administering the certified environmental access consultant (CEAC) credential. AHIA will now administer the credential and test. Membership in AHIA requires that providers have a CEAC on staff. The credential ensures professionalism, and that the job will be done right the first time, Keiderling said.

Andreassen will develop a network of contractors qualified to perform home improvements. That lets providers who don’t want to do the work hire a subcontractor.