Jon Miller Log

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Jon Contacts. Weekly Video Folder- [1].

Tue, Jan 25 2022


I pulled this minimum sequence from this Inspection Summary Document. I also reached out to Property Services Team, LLC to get an idea of the costs associated with third-party building inspections.

  • Footing Inspection
  • Foundation Wall Inspection
  • Groundwork Inspection
  • Floor Slab Inspection
  • Backfill Inspection
  • Rough-in/Framing Inspection
  • Electric and Gas Service Inspection
  • Final Inspection

Wed, Jan 19 2022

Weekly Meeting Notes

No video call this week - Marcin working hard on finishing the house.

  1. Connected with potential buyer, Open House is next step
  2. Free land in Kansas City, MO–additional option for first build site
  3. Steve assisted with following up for HFH, Marcin will reconnect with proposal.
  4. Feb 15 ish or March 1 for house completion
  5. Jon - pass along new adjustments for plumbing for review
  6. Connect Marcin to Mike Cartner
  7. Training construction managers and leaders
  8. Jon - First thing to figure out is to talk to CompassKC people if they can facilitate the inspection schedule. Reach out to third party inspectors and price out options.
  9. Jon - Design complex recruiting strategy that includes: “crash course” model, Extreme Build Edutainment event, Corporate Team-Building events, 4-hour driving radius youtuber community.

Tue, Jan 11 2022

Chat with Noemi Reveira and Kelly Renaud of Habitat for Humanity

  1. Primary focus for HFH is building faster and cheaper.
  2. High construction costs right now. Volunteer labor for framing. Pros for foundation, mechanical, roofing, and electrical. All in, about $300k for construction costs for 2000sf.
  3. Concrete houses are one story.
  4. Architectural review board is a challenge in NOVA
  5. Making connections to find land is primary focus
  6. Primarily rely on trade partners, pay market rates and offer promotion for participating
  7. Habitat for international comes up in top 100 builders in US
  8. Land availability is biggest limiting factor
  9. Permitting and inspections are treated the same as any other builder
  10. Heavily subsidized from grants
  11. Always have 2 staff members on site. Use dedicated volunteers. Delegate specific tasks to groups. All instruction is verbal.
  12. Level of subsidy depends on AMI–primarily serve 40-80% of AMI (Area Median Income)
  13. 12-16 months to complete a single home
  14. No shortage of volunteers

Fri, Jan 7 2022


  1. Successful conversation with Brian Potter - setting up future collaboration
  2. Marcin still working on EV application
  3. Fundamental problem could be culture around hard work
  4. Can Jon start search for participants for first build? Think about plan and strategy for recruiting. Think about specifications for who we need? Maybe start with Travis.
  5. Trigger for targeted recruiting is stamped and completed plans from Engineer.
  6. Wants Jon to start with virtual walk-throughs and video game...part training and part engagement.

Wed, Dec 29 2021


Abbreviated due to heat-pump issue in MO and Jon is on vacation

  • Product is still primary objective
  • Recruiting makes sense to focus on once we have engineer's stamp - Jon might be helpful to draw out key milestones. Also, we haven't clearly identified needs enough to identify task organization
  • Think of ways to produce financial independence for people in trades by up-skilling and entrepreneurship
  • Think of recruiting local you-tubers who clearly have skills and interest, and are trying to grow
  • train the trainer is key and construction managers and foreman positions are necessary--we need to think of task-org for build
  • If Marcin can do first draft of workflow, we can take to Travis and other mentors to help build task-org

Tasks for next week

  1. Jon and Marcin - Draft two of EV grant
  2. Jon: begin recruiting plan and task organization plan. Goal is to have a draft we can send to Travis for review (task org)
  3. Jon: Follow up on Rob Robinson's email connecting with Frank Zummo

Wed, Dec 22 2021

Last Week

The plan for Jon was to research commercial buildings, make progress on EV application, and connect to Brian Potter and continue searching for a KC contracting mentor. Marcin's plan was to build Rosebud, work on CAD and documentation, and study for GC exam.


Priorities for Next Week

  1. Emergent Ventures Application - Marcin adds input and Jon edits, iterate from there
  2. Connect with mentor, Travis and Brian
  3. Marcin continues building house and CAD documentation

Friday, Dec 17 2021

Completed Tasks

  1. Sent introductory e-mail to Brian Potter
  2. Connected to KC area builder through Jake Bruton
  3. Began comparing commercial buildings as rapid solution to infrastructure


Thurs, Dec 16 2021

Notes from meeting with Richard Fenati

  1. Look into Habitat for Humanity - they have permitting and inspections clocked, as well as good operational plans
  2. Think about Solar Hot Water heating under the foundation

For my edification, I asked about the conceptual framework for residential construction. Here is how he laid out the process following architectural approval:

  • Buy a lot through broker, ensure it is zoned properly
  • Plan to put shovel in ground the day you buy land, or consider buying an option on the land to buy time for permitting.
  • Apply for permits and budget time for at least one round of comments. Foundation permits usually occur first, but most jurisdictions allow for simultaneous permit applications. CompassKC will help us manage this process. Most permits need to be pulled by someone with a credential. We need to investigate KCMO-specific requirements as there are different standards for different projects.
  • Pour foundation, put up framing, conduct structural inspection.
  • It might be possible to have 3rd party engineers inspect, but this is jurisdiction dependent.
  • Keep walls open for mechanical and electrical inspections.
  • close walls and complete building inspection.
  • Obtain certificate of occupancy

Weds, Dec 15 2021

Priorities from last week

  1. Emergent Ventures application: Jon outlines content to prepare for refinement and submission before New Year.
  2. Scheduling time with the Development Assistance Teams: Ball is in KCMO's court, waiting to hear from John Pajor.
  3. Documentation: Marcin filters existing content and submits to Jon for refinement.


  • Jon signed OSE up for Yale SOE's Greenlite [2] program and for student collaboration in Spring 2022. Second is the School of Engineering
  • Jon meeting Thursday, Dec 16 with local mentor with several years experience in construction management.


Communication with John Pajor indicates the following requirements for residential project:

  1. Construction Plan - Requires full CAD model, engineer review
  2. Site Plan - Requires survey, recon, GIS data, CAD
  3. Building Permit - Output from site and construction plan application
  4. Trade Permits - applied for individually?
  5. Licensed Contractor - Marcin is primary, hiring is secondary


  1. RR Buildings -

Priorities for next Week


  1. Research commercial buildings to potentially solve initial infrastructure challenges
  2. EV Grant application and reach out to Bryan Potter re: his award and Construction Physics
  3. Manage communication with DAT and update plan accordingly


  1. Build Rosebud
  2. Build CAD
  3. Get licensed

Fri, Dec 10 2021

  • I signed OSE up to become a client for the Sustainable Business Capstone Consulting Clinic (syllabus). If accepted, grad students from Yale SOM and SOE would enter as collaborators on a project that counts as class credit.

Weds, Dec 8 2021

  • Tasks: feed information to be translated into Human Readable form to Jon; Jon continues on Emergent Ventures data gathering.
  • I need to ask Marcin about Richard's Visit
  • I spent an hour on the phone with a good friend who recently graduated from the Yale School of Environment. We discussed different strategies to recruit students for independent study projects or summer internships at OSE. She suggested opportunities in both grad-school and undergrad populations around land development and sustainable food program development. To make a compelling pitch to the student body, we need to formalize the opportunity and offer competitive compensation (unless remote work for independent study project).
  • Re: the Emergent Ventures app, I am reading through Marcin's library of published work to identify key narrative threads for the application
  • Request for Development Assistance Team meeting submitted 7 Dec. Email notification likely goes to Marcin until I can figure out how to add myself to his account as a collaborator.

Weekly Meeting

  • Can Jon participate more on Cabins? Make the cabin course happen. Model is in Sweethome 3D.
  • Inviting people for tour on February 1, 2022
  • Considering bigger priority shift to develop leadership capacity to lead crews.
  • Shift me to more looking at documenting project into a set of build instructions. Process management and build procedure. Jon needs to get schooled up on Seed Eco-Home plans. Start at foundation.
  • Start pulling together narrative threads for emergent ventures app.

Weds, Dec 1, 2021

  • Notes - upskill labor while simultaneusly using existing supply chain.

Weekly Meeting Notes

  • potential swarm build partnership with high school/students, may solve labor problem and add some cool impact to project. Key is detailed instructions, scrum board, finances, etc.
  • progress on remote control heavy equipment
  • Jon, identify inspection timeline and requirements
  • Marcin - register under CompassKC
  • Jon - look into cottage housing provisions in KC, make contact with Assistant City Planner.
  • For logic model: Practical application for solving world issues
  • Proceed with foundation for Emergent Ventures application with goal to write 1500 proposal before New Year
  • Read MIT article from Innovations Journal, we need to work out the philosophical foundation - what are we trying to do and why?
  • Upskill labor while simultaneously building houses with existing supply chains.

Progress Updates

  • I'm not sure how to think about the progression from Spec Build to OSE campus being ready for OSE apprenticeship. One possibility is using $200k of funds to pay for the labor and material to build the campus and curriculum. Alternately, we could go with the progression of Tiny Home workshops.
  • Marcin thinks earned revenue could fuel investment with remote crews brought in.
  • There is a gap between getting the product to market (Seed Eco Home) and being apprenticeship ready. The funding will be easier once we have proof of concept: prove concept, get money, build infrastructure.
  • Still have labor issue. Jon working on that as I develop construction timeline.

Notes from S2A Modular Builder Investor Call

  • Disruption in construction industry is happening and accelerating:
  1. increased sustainability requirements,
  2. standardized codes for factory built homes,
  3. off-site production, automation,
  4. and on-site production
  • Forbes article on S2A's 35 new factories in 3 years
  • Goal is net-zero factories and products (homes)
  • Their value prop for modular, factory homes: time, price, strength, controlled environment, neighbors, contractors, reduced theft and vandalism, state inspections
  • Founded in 2018 by John Rowland and Brian Kurds - Rowland built second ever Tesla powered smart home
  • Historically, scaling was the problem: hard to build to higher specs without switching costs for existing factories.
  • Goal was to aim for 55+, $3-400k price point.
  • S2A has exclusive rights to graphene solar technology (30-45% greater output)
  • SH1 model, closest to Seed Eco-Home, most affordable, designed to address homelessness crisis, designed to be dropped into place with 0 site work. Not yet produced, many potential institutional clients tentatively.
  • Five factories broke ground, 20 OTW with fund raise, 6 months-ish to complete.
  • Incorporating hemp products in construction
  • Margins higher for commercial units, average $50k/unit profit
  • Projecting 5000 units over next 5 years
  • On January 1, 2022, looking for $920M from institutional investors
  • Installation revenue goes to developers and builders

Mon, Nov 29, 2021

Progress Updates

Updated priorities for Jon (from Marcin):

  1. Build timeline for construction to account for administrative requirements and gov. compliance.
  2. Emergent Ventures Application (Build logic model from current work to vision)

Logic Model


Wed Nov 24, 2021

Weekly Meeting Notes

Priorities: 1. Emergent Ventures Application 2. Completing Summer Ex and 3D Printer Workshop 3. Product Development 4. Client acquisition 5. Research Inspection Schedules for KC Building

  • Marcin is wrapping up Summer Ex.
  • Siding arrived for Seed Eco-Home
  • Marcin will have 3-day Teacher's Seminar next week
  • Talked to Brian, might have funding for Mortgage
  • Options include risk share with client, or do a spec build, or find a client who owns land and applies for a construction permit
  • Marcin is working on 3000sf workshop design. Focusing on rebar trusses. link
  • Developing the pedagogy - iterative and immersive. Show don't tell. One example is Fab Academy
  • GM University Emergent Ventures Grant is a priority. Need to work on describing moonshot idea. We need a logic chain from Seed EcoHome to achieving larger vision. Jon- do some research into Emergent Ventures and how we pitch.
  • Jon needs to audio excerpt Tim Ferris Podcast for marketing, contacting Balaji Srinivasan who is speaking on OSE's behalf.
  • Do we need to hire technical writers to put together a visual build-book for the Seed Eco-Home? Does that start with a promo video?
  • From the Outlaws Inc. Newsletter published on 11/22/2021:

Progress Report, 11/23/2021 Thanks for your interest in our partnership with Open Source Ecology! Here is a brief recap:

OSE and Outlaws Inc. have partnered to create employment and education pathways for transitioning service members and veterans. Both education and employment will be covered by the GI Bill. Our vision: Veterans will move to the OSE campus in Maysville, MO, work and learn on site as either paid apprentices or students. Once complete with the curriculum, they will be prepared to start their own business, supporting the OSE mission directly, or ready to enter the economy with a diverse skillset. Last week, I traveled to the OSE campus and developed the plan for the OSE Apprenticeship. Here is where we stand…

We received conditional approval for our Apprenticeship Curriculum! Two representatives from the Missouri Department of Labor conducted a site visit and were impressed with everything OSE has accomplished and the potential to turn it into a Registered Apprenticeship for both Production Technologist (2-year), and Tiny-House builder (1-year). Together, we formed a 12-month glide path to become apprentice ready. The first step is to build a Seed Eco-Home to a client in Kansas City in the early Spring of 2022. This first build will serve as a proof of concept for the full apprenticeship, generating revenue we need to build out the OSE campus for future apprentices and students.

How you can help! To achieve our next milestone—selling a Seed Eco-Home—we will be recruiting 24 workers to travel to Kansas City, learn the modular construction process, and build the actual home. The entire build will take 1-2 weeks and workers will be paid ~$50/hour. Exact wages are TBD.

Please spread the word about this opportunity. Tell your friends to subscribe to this newsletter for the latest updates.

Mon Nov 22, 2021


  • Swarm build and crash course model concept + economics - [3]

Production Technologist

Production Technologist

Emergent Ventures


This is the actual application page:

I think it’s an opportunity worth pursuing. I’m assuming you have some material ready to go from TED, but if not, we should talk through the application on Weds.

While it’s hot on my brain, here are some example one-line pitches:

  • OSE democratizes technology
  • OSE lowers the barrier to entry for a regenerative economy
  • OSE lowers the cost of technology and STEM education
  • OSE empowers distributed enterprise and human development

Jon Miller
I reposted at as this is perennial and important for future OSE movement entrepreneurs.
One liner of main interest is 'to create the collaborative economy'. That sounds like a general idea, but the specifics are testing one business case for a distributive enterprise that matches or exceeds the growth rate of unicorns and results in distributed market substitution of one sector of the economy. By working out an open enterprise development model. Build that around 'Housing'.
Or we can keep it small, such as 'Solve Housing.'
The key would be excellent communication, with which Steve could help.


Jonathan Miller 6:39 AM (1 hour ago) to Jeremy, Tracy, Debra, Catarina, Brian, me Good Morning! Thanks again to both of you for making the trek out to Maysville last week. I hope you enjoyed the weekend after all that travel. I just wanted to touch base and confirm where we are: OSE’s work process for Production Technologist is technically approved, but OSE is not apprentice ready. Specifically, OSE will build more on-site infrastructure to support long-term work/learning. If we need something official from the DoL that helps us in the grant-writing process, we will let you know. Brian Weinberg is cc’d as he is helping us navigate the grant writing process. OSE will update you as we build the infrastructure to support apprenticeships. You will send us the standards for the “Tiny House” work process. We may be closer to apprentice ready for this than we are for Production Technologist. Finally, a question: if we submit an acceptable Tiny House work process, did you find any reason during the site visit why we wouldn’t be able to Register as soon as we found a willing candidate? Great meeting you again, and I look forward to working together! Jon Miller Founder, Outlaws Inc. My Calendar Leave a Review

Thu Nov 18, 2021

Jon Thoughts on Compensation

  • Truly free market existed somewhere in middle east?
  • Cost should reflect your risk. Institutions figured out how to take out the risk, and still charge you as if they were taking risk. Debt by David Graeber. First thing that was traded was women. Barter preceded money preceded credit - it really happened in reverse. Within tribes it was credit - iou if you give me some wheat. Between tribes, it was barter. When you remove trust. Capitalists call that a success.
  • Compensation should scale with unique value creation
  • Recurring revenue should be capped to avoid rent-seeking
  • Must reward innovation

Draft Memorandum of Understanding

  • Summarizes work accomplished during Jon's visit
  • Create common operational picture
  • Manage expectations
  • Formulate realistic plan


  • Low income housing with vets
  • Microhouse village with vets - social service way to provide labor
  • Sweat equity labor - way to provide labor. Future homeowners spend 50 weekends over 2 years


Apprenticeship Financial Model (GI Bill)



  • Common opearational picture
  • SEH Product - Spec Build - Infrastructure are key elements
  • How do we account for payroll taxes once we have an apprentice?

Wed Nov 17, 2021

  • MVP tinyhouse crash course - [4]

Tue Nov 16, 2021


  • Inventory of workshop
    • Equipment, organized, operations for it
    • Organize steel pile
  • Not just clean up - but system to prevent future entropy
  • Repair as needed
  • Landscaping
  • Cleanup
  • Design new building layout
  • Same for hablab
    • Life support
    • Trash
    • Recycling
    • Food - how it comes in, managed, prepared
    • Laundry
    • Entertainment
  • Think of systems
    • How are bathrooms cleaned
    • Where are people parking
  • Areas: life support, workshop, materials storage and handling, 2nd workshop
  • Build the workshop as we want to build the workshop

DoL Talking Points

  • Match masking behavior
  • SEH 1 first
  • Ask by Jon - what's the best use of your time?
  • Cool let's take 5 minutes to talk
  • What you're looking at is a house that Apprentices will be building
  • We should make it clear that we have skin in the game,
    • Way there is - this is our house; this is our design; we build it (not hired a contractor)
  • Carpentry apprenticeship if it doesn't follow industry standards- harms the industry. 3rd option is to create a new standard.
    • Ex - building rafters - we don't do it
    • Burning hours idea - you build over and over. To quantify what they do in daily life.
    • Gatekeeping is reporting hours worked in pre-defined work process
    • How do you qualify apprentices? It's hours.

General Conditions

  • Recruiting - full trash can. Proper response - where is your trash can liner.
  • Engineer social interactions
  • Systems - how do we manage
  • April 1
  • Solve for people first
  • But, to solve for people we need to solve for living conditions
  • Infrastructure and operations - but these need people!
  • People -> infrastructure -> people -> money

Wed Nov 10, 2021

  • Bringing structure to OSE vision
  • DoL - system level constraints to scaling Apprenticeship
  • Maybe 2 year apprenticeship is one of multiple things on a menu
  • Crash course - part of making OSE an education and employment pathway
  • Operationalizing a plan for Builder Crash Course
  • Jon imagined a place like OSE before met me. Learn by doing, plus education - thermo, civ e. Originally - make products that you can sell.
  • Have: brain; prouducts ready for commercialization; within context of sust and regen. Perfect match for where employment and edu is going.
  • Vets - cultural, awareness, and bureaucracy issues.
  • Change the narrative around slave live. To financial independence etc. Rewrite vet transition story
  • Others - gig workers, not college grads, young people in hs who didn't buy into academics but who care about a better world; marginalized communities
  • Chambers of Commerce - we have a formula for scaling economic dev. New skill base dev, help local enterprise start up.
    • Work used to be: factory, widget, get paid.
  • Prove a new model for edu and employment.
  • Build a microfactory?
  • Before that: build a program. Ops manual. Bible. The bible could be the insurgency.
  • Get this to copy. 100% getting the message out there.
  • Teaser - we need feedback etc.
  • Putting people in place to execute.
  • Operations Manager -
  • 2 routes: boatload of cash, hire experts. Or - bootstrap iterate, ex Builder Crash Course.

Sun Nov 7, 2021

Thoughts: '"it is unlikely that OSE would be able to make it through the certification process due to current statutes that are in place. As of now, it is important for certification programs to teach skills to a certain depth so students are marketable in the job market, and while OSE teaches a variety of extremely useful skills, it does not teach them to the depth to where they could realistically attain a job in the field.”' Why if we could start a welding program, don't confuse the people.

  • Swarm Build Ops Manual [5]
  • Swarm Build Doc - [6]
  • Career Faur Soreadsheet - [7]
  • Podcast invite - [8]
  • Proprietary school exemption - [9]
  • MO dept of higher Ed application - [10]
  • Yale architecture - [11]
  • Kiva loans for $15k [12]
  • State approving agency - [13]
  • Unaccredited programs - [14]

Wed Nov 3, 2021

  • OSE 4 Year Program
  • Proprietary Non-academic Exemption
  • Shorter apprenticeship
  • Deconstruction service of existing structure - controlled demo - reusing existing materials.
  • Builder Crash Course Curriculum Development
  • Jon - goal is to rebuild the American Dream. If you work hard, you'll get success. Manufacturing in the USA. Unsustainable work-life balance. Transform culture around the military. Veterans. Not restricted by current jobs.
  • Thought his ME was hot, but saw a farmer rig up creativity on a tractor...
  • 150k vets. 50% get education. Culture of "I need a 4 year degree to be successful"
    • College doesn't interest them
    • Navigate benefits - lots of red tape
    • Some get employed
    • There is a culture in the military re dependency, disabled vet sense of entitlement.
  • Unconventional education, system change, collaboration with institutions.
  • Could

Meeting 2

  • Brian, Jon, Marcin. David Leasure not today.
  • Ranch in South Dakota - actually seeing it. Getting hands dirty on a ranch.
  • Production Technologist - apprenticeship title. Submitted to DoL
  • Established Relationship, willing to approve on paper, we're far away from apprentices on the ground. They are still to approve standards. But before that it is a site visit. It would be a local level DoL.
  • Scenarios - no, this doesn't meet our standards for Apprenticeship, here are changes. OR - 'you are good -
  • Education - students
  • ARPA - - Brian applied for a $100M grant
  • Missouri Community College - MCC
  • Education Route - Builder Crash Course. Submit as independent program. Exemption under non-vocational status. This would make OSE a proprietary school in Missouri - 30 day turnaround.
  • Nonvocation - could be basketweaving. Not putting people into workforce.
  • Allows us to start clock on GI-bill approved facility.
  • Waiver - from high up in the edu world.
  • Financial Instruments-
    • P2P
    • Purchase orders
    • MCC financial aid
    • DAO
    • Financial Innovation - how to finance anyone who wants to go in
    • Kiva Loans- $15k of labor.
  • General Assembly - got VA to sign off on their program by. General Assembly went the education pathway. Financing handbook by General Assembly.
    • Look at their financing handbook - [15]. For how to finance students. Brian knows GA founder
  • Build in 2 weeks - we build a kit!
  • Hire a company to productize -
  • Income-sharing agreement
  • We want to unjob people, not employees - Brian sez.
  • Add a layer of support via financing structures.
  • Smuggle thems in, koz pimping ain't easy
  • Jungletown - not a Marcin but had good intentions -
  • - fiscal sponsor of Foundation for Regeneration
  • Economic Gardening - selling innovation to other markets.

Wed Oct 27, 2021

  • Workforce dev + refrigeration units

Wed Oct 20, 2021

Wed Oct 13, 2021

Planning Doc - Troop Leading Procedures - standard framework for any planning in the military:

    • Analysis of situation
    • Mission
    • Execution
    • Sustainment - logistics and coordination
    • Command and Control - who reports to who, roles, etc - roles and responsibilities
  • DOL is willing to approve, but want an in-person site visit. Mid Nov but depends on budget
    • Gaps - paying people, instructors
    • On visit - eye wash equipment, safety posters, etc.
    • Fire extinguisher, eye wash station, emergency station - have that prepped
  • Prior to finding client:
    • Product specification
  • Education discussion - they won't approve something not well-defined.
    • More compelling argument on specific
    • 97% use GI Bill for education
    • 3% do employment
  • Swarm Build doc - [16]

Wed Oct 6, 2021

Rusk, Jack <> Attachments Tue, Oct 5, 2:21 PM (18 hours ago) to Jonathan, me

Jonathan and Marcin -

Wow! Thank you for thinking of me. This is a really exciting project and I’m very much in love with the ethic behind Open Source Ecology. I’m game to do what I can to support you in bringing this to fruition.

I really wish I could volunteer myself, but I have a few other things lined up. What I could do, though, is: 1) Forward an email to the School of Architecture about this opportunity. I’d imagine that you would draft boilerplate and I could tune it to the audience. 2) Ask if there’s a student in the Green Building class (which Jon took) that would be interested in taking this on as a class project. 3) Connect you with the people who run the Green Light ideation workshops at Yale School of the Environment. They host half-day chartreuse working with real clients on real problems.

Let me know if any of that could be helpful? Or if there’s anything else I could do.


Sent from my iPad


  • Wage schedule, timeline, curriculum
  • 2 year apprenticeship.
  • Rapids Database, GI database
  • Good relationship with Tracy - DoL missouri. Jon talked to Deborah, state relationship.
  • Application is a living document
  • Next: complete the application and submit it.
  • Concrete final month is 85% of it
  • GI Bill will give Vet $1250/month, decreases every 6 months by 20%
  • TBI - traumatic brain injury
  • What you think is possible is only a fraction of what is possible
  • If this is s

Mon Aug 9, 2021


I want to reach out to my former professor, Peter Yost  and his colleague Jake Bruton regarding our collaboration. Together, they are part of a community of builders and building scientists with big profile—connected to Matt Risinger and The Build Show  They offered to have me on their building science podcast and I have had to delay until now. Below is a draft e-mail introducing OSE, and you. Want your approval on the ask before I send this out.


"Hi Jake and Peter,

Thanks for being patient. I’ve got the family settled in finally, and I’m ready to record a podcast with you if you’re still interested. Additionally, I would like to ask both of you for help on a related topic. 

  1. Context: I recently partnered with Open Source Ecology  a non-profit based an hour outside of Kansas City, MO. Together, we are building a 2-year curriculum that could double as a registered apprenticeship and supplement a 4-year engineering degree. The program would teach students to construct a modular home system called the Seed Eco-Home by combining foundational STEM and building science with hands-on construction and the integrative design process. I am directly assisting with curriculum development and pathways to the veteran community and benefits. I’ve cc’d OSE’s founder, Marcin Jakubowski.
  2. Ask: Is there a way we can tap into your networks to spread awareness of OSE and lay the groundwork for future partnerships? This could be through the UnBuild It podcast, or maybe even the Build Show. Marcin is currently running their first apprenticeship class in collaborative design. It could also be through warm intros with industry professionals who find the idea intriguing. Jake—is this something you might be interested in checking out as it is relatively close to your base of operations? In general, your thoughts as building professionals and scientists would be extremely valuable.
Regarding the podcast, here are the current topics I can speak to:
  • Opportunities for builders/employers to tap into veteran benefit programs and recruit long-term apprentices and employees.
  • My personal journey working with a building scientist (Paul Herron) to upgrade the 1980s single family home over the past month. This includes rebate programs, solar, insulation upgrades, and energy audits.
  • The Open Source Ecology model for empowering the next generation to tackle big problems through applied learning in home construction."

Jon Miller

Mon Aug 9, 2021

Relevant Links: Apprenticeship Standards, Cornell Law site - [17]. Other Training - [18]

Jonathan Miller

AttachmentsAug 8, 2021, 10:01 PM (8 hours ago)

to me

  1. Pay rate for builder: Using WA as I assume it has the highest cost of living of the three options, I would expect a general tradesperson to start at $12/hour +/- 2$. A journeyman qualified carpenter with some real soft skills could justify a $30/hour wage easily. For an entry level vet, using their GI Bill this roughly equates to an after-tax earnings of around $40k a year when going from green employee to journeyman. That said, you can structure it as low as you want. It’s possible to pay less, but we would need to know more about the local labor market conditions in each state to assess the impact on hiring. Of course, my intuition is that the people who apply to this program aren’t motivated by money per se, they want to know their needs will be met while pursuing something cool. Ultimately, the only constraints on how you structure your wage schedule are: 
    • that the starting wage is above the federal minimum wage 
    • starting wage is at lleast 50% of the fully qualified wage; 
    • The final month of training must be at least 85% of the fully qualified wage,
    • Employees are guaranteed at least 30 hours a week.
  2. For a 2-year program (On-the-job training or Apprenticeship), the wage schedule begins with the fully qualified wage ($x). This is what you would pay someone the day they complete the training program or apprenticeship. On day 1, the employee must earn at least x/2. The final month of their training, they must earn at least .85x. Then, when they complete the program and are “fully qualified,” they are eligible to earn x, provided you hire them.
    • Everything I’ve just laid out applies to all apprentices, and veterans who use the GI Bill for the On-the-job training program.
    • For GI Bill eligible veterans, they will receive a monthly housing allowance directly from the VA, on top of their wages.
    • Every 6 months, regardless of how your wage schedule changes, the housing allowance decreases 20%.
    • The minimum length of program eligible for the On-the-Job training certification is 6 months and there must be a reasonable expectation that the veteran employee is hired once they are fully qualified. 
  3. If you provide housing on-site, you can charge them as much as you want, as long as you don’t violate any of the constraints from point 1. I may need to dig into this because I’ve never seen an employer simultaneously pay apprentices and provide housing. There is no policy constraint that I’m aware of to prevent you from doing this, and frankly, there is no reason for the VA to really know about it if the program meets all standards.
Yes! I agree - already getting some great feedback just from the simple, vague post I threw up today. There is a hunger for this. You really only need one veteran success story to get the ball rolling. If I didn’t have a wife and baby, I would volunteer.
Attaching relevant federal regulations related to the OJT program and Apprenticeships.
Jon Miller
Founder, Outlaws Inc.
My Calendar

Sat Aug 7, 2021

GI Bill Log.

Sat Jul 31, 2021

Jon Miller

to JesseBrianmeDavid

TL;DR: Before veterans can use their GI Bill to attend OSE programs, one of the following must occur:
  1. Education certification—OSE must either fall under UMKC, or initiate the 2 year process through the MDHE.
    • Approval means that veterans receive monthly cash and OSE receives tuition payments.
  2. Apprenticeship certification—OSE must apply to the Department of Labor
    • Approval means that veterans receive monthly cash and OSE pays apprentices wages.
There is a third option for On-the-Job training. The benefits are the same as apprenticeship, but graduates will not receive a nationally recognized credential. Applications go through the VA, not the Department of Labor. Additionally, there is an expectation that upon completion of the training period, the veterans have a reasonable expectation of employment. In theory we can pursue all three concurrently, but that risks efficiency loss as the red tape is significant for each application. Recommend re-assessing after you speak with the Dean.
GI Bill aside, I can still promote OSE through my network immediately. All I need is any web copy or promotional material you want highlighted, or to know if there are any restrictions to what you want on social media.
Response to your questions…
The ask (draft ideas):
  1. “Can OSE and UMKC partner together to allow OSE apprentices to receive UMKC credit?”, or “What would it take for UMKC to recognize the OSE apprenticeship as a supplementary part of the existing engineering curriculum?
  2. “Is UMKC willing to cosponsor the OSE apprenticeship as a UMKC certificate program that counts toward an engineering degree credit?”
  3. “Can UMKC help OSE meet the Missouri Department of Higher Education standards as an approved educational facility?”
Each are slightly different ways of saying, “Can UMKC recognize OSE as a part of their engineering degree program so we can fall under your GI Bill approval?” My thinking is that if the OSE apprenticeship is a part of the UMKC system, the veteran benefits would would be automatic. I would also want to communicate that you see OSE as a combination of education and job prospect that would directly address veteran reintegration challenges. Your “Why” for GI Bill approval is that through veteran benefits, you can unlock human potential, currently hindered by the challenges of military separation for the 140,000 young, uneducated veterans that leave the service each year. I can provide more details if needed.
“What does it mean to be approved by MO Higher Ed?”:
  • I don’t know yet - working on it. Unless you object, I will reply to the State Approving Agency e-mail and ask them specifically about OSE (previous e-mail was generalized).
Curriculum Development:
  • Existing OSE apprenticeship: The 6-month schedule you have on the website is a 70% solution for what the Department of Labor looks for in apprenticeship applications. We might re-format into Tasks/Required Hours/Performance Measures, etc. But it looks like you have done most of the work already.
  • Factor E Farm as Approved Learning Facility: Yes, I believe first step should be curriculum dev as discussed on our phone call.
Jon Miller
Founder, Outlaws Inc.
My Calendar