What trends do you see coming in the contract cleaning industry?

One positive trend is the visibility the pandemic brought to our industry, which helps our teams receive the recognition they deserve. Another trend is outcome-based contracts, which is a departure from traditional commercial janitorial services contracts. A labor market trend is the hybrid/remote work model, which is here to stay for certain positions and will be a mainstay in the future. Companies should figure out which of the five new work models is best for their organizations. Companies that rely on collaboration and impromptu meetings will tend to be in the office more and therefore may rely on an office-centric hybrid model, especially for employees that need mentoring and coaching.

For the janitorial industry, and any building services industry, physical presence is important to our clients. Some of our work relies on occupancy and usage of facilities. Therefore the more the spaces are used and occupied, the more our services are in demand. While I believe the hybrid/remote work trend is both permanent and positive, our intent is for as many office-based colleagues to return to working in offices to facilitate collaboration.

What is BSCAI doing to help members navigate ongoing pandemic challenges?

Until the pandemic, what we do every day was often in the shadows. The cleaning and safety protocols put in place for COVID-19 are also effective against the flu. Embracing enhanced cleaning regimens is both a health and business imperative that can help reduce the potential for outbreaks and support the nation’s economic recovery. BSCAI provides in-person and online educational opportunities and resources to advance knowledge and develop people. By utilizing all of BSCAI’s educational opportunities, contractors will obtain the most up-to-date industry knowledge and networking skills needed to stay current in the building services industry.

BSCs are experiencing a tough labor market. What programs does BSCAI offer to help recruit and retain janitors?

As anyone who is tasked with recruiting and retention will tell you, employers across industries are challenged with hiring and retaining employees. Challenges in our labor markets are driving many employers to leverage pay as a motivator. A recent Washington Post study reported nearly 1 in 3  U.S. workers under 40 have thought about changing their occupation or field of work since the pandemic began. Wages and salaries are rising at the highest rate in decades.

From an employer perspective, employee training through BSCAI education resources can improve retention. BSCAI offers sessions that cover these topics at our Executive Management Conference in the spring and the Contracting Success event in the fall. We also provide opportunities through our year-round programming channel, which includes webinars, podcasts and town hall conversations.

In your opinion, what value is there to personal certifications?

One way to differentiate oneself among peers in this era of increased competition, clients and prospective customers alike, is to seek credentials that substantiate knowledge and experience. BSCAI offers two individual programs: the Registered Building Service Manager (RBSM) and Certified Building Service Executive (CBSE). BSCAI members also receive the member discount on their Certified Industry Management System (CIMS) company certification offered by ISSA. These designations provide a competitive edge that can be used to significantly enhance prospects for career advancement and opportunities.

What are some of the government issues that may impact association members in the coming years and how is BSCAI addressing them?

BSCAI’s Government Affairs Program gives the building service contracting industry visibility into the political process. Individually, it’s nearly impossible to influence Congress on issues that affect your business. BSCAI’s Government Affairs Program (GAF) Team works on behalf of members to monitor devastating legislation and influence positive legislation that ultimately helps strengthen the industry. The BSCAI Government Affairs committee works to bring our members the latest news on many topics including immigration reform, worker misclassification, illegal sub-contracting, healthcare reform and taxation.

The Cleaning Coalition of America, which BSCAI is a member of, was founded in 2020 by seven of the nation’s largest facilities services companies. With more than 1 million professional cleaners employed in every state, the Coalition advocates on behalf of professional cleaners nationwide to shape and advance crucial policies and measures that promote the safe and responsible return to business and the reopening of our economy.

What are the best ways for a member to get involved with BSCAI and what advice do you have for new association members?

My advice would be to get involved at the level that works for you. As a member of BSCAI, you will have the opportunity to serve on many committees matching your interests. BSCAI committees currently include the Membership Committee, the Marketing Committee, the Webinar Committee, the Certification Committee, the Government Affairs Committee, the Awards and Recognition Committee, as well as the Professional Education Committee.

BSCAI needs the volunteer support of its members serving on various committees to guide programs and influence decisions on behalf of the association. The knowledge, experience and expertise of BSCAI member representatives ensure that the association will continue to grow and improve. By accessing BSCAI’s resources, you will understand the professional benefits and take advantage of all we have to offer.

My advice would be to look at the CLEAN Awards program, which allows all BSCAI members to nominate individuals who have volunteered their time for the betterment of the association and the building service contracting industry. These prestigious awards presented each year are evidence of the professionalism and high standards that BSCAI members set for the industry. As a member of BSCAI, you can recognize your peers by nominating individuals or BSCAI member organizations in all categories for which they qualify.

What aspect of the association are you most excited for in 2022?

BSCAI has so much to offer its members. I’m most excited for the 2022 Board of Directors to help bring contractors back to in-person events to expand their professional network of BSCs and other industry experts, to continue to develop their leadership skills, to manage their bottom line, grow their customer base and enhance their employee training programs.

What is your favorite BSCAI memory?

It’s difficult to pick only one. The in-person meetings are educational in nature but also a lot of fun. As attendees get to know people, they become lifelong friends who look forward to seeing each other at meetings.

What year did you join BSCAI and how have you continued to find value from the association?  

HARVARD joined BSCAI in 1989. When I joined the industry in 2012, the cleaning industry was unfamiliar territory to me. I quickly understood the association’s value as it allowed me to expand my BSC industry network and connected me to industry experts. Joining BSCAI was one of the first things I did. For more than 55 years, the Building Service Contractor Association has been the business resource for contractors for a good reason. You can see your business grow through the connections made at BSCAI events and peer-to-peer networking opportunities.  

Do you have an example of how BSCAI has helped your business? 

At BSCAI, contractors are our focus. We provide tools, information and resources that help contactors ensure their great service translates to the bottom line. BSCAI has helped me understand the competitive marketplace by providing industry specific education, networking, information and training to improve my team’s success every day in this ever-changing industry.   

What are the biggest benefits of joining BSCAI (and maybe a few that people might not realize)? 

BSCAI is led by contractors for contractors. Therefore, its education vertical is complete and training options available for the industry are unparalleled. The association provides contractor-specific educational programs, individual certifications, publications, a members-only purchasing program, in-person and virtual seminars, industry data and research, and networking opportunities, all developed specifically for leaders in the building service contracting industry.  

A few examples include peer-to-peer networking opportunities offered by BSCAI, with both peer groups and peer mentoring programs. BSCAI peer groups provide members an avenue to freely share ideas, information and opinions in a face-to-face setting. Peer mentoring enables new members to connect with active members in the association and become more involved. This is the perfect forum for receiving professional advice and direction from those who have been in your shoes.  

Other benefits include BSCAI Marketplace, which offers hundreds of publications, training programs and videos in more than 50 subject areas, the BSCAI Education Library, as well as the BSCAI Online Membership Directory — the ultimate “who’s who” guide for our industry. The latter can help you find potential BSC partners for regional and national business opportunities as needed. 

When and why did you decide to join the BSCAI board and run for president? 

I welcomed the opportunity to join BSCAI as a member when I joined the industry in 2012. Since my career had been outside of the industry up until that point, I had hoped to bring a different perspective to the board; I was pleased to learn I was considered for the opportunity. I was grateful for my peers’ vote of confidence in leading the US Contractor industry association after being on the board for 7 years. 

What are BSCAI’s future goals and how as president do you plan to reach them? 

One goal is to ensure that, with the 2022 Board of Directors, we reach as many BSCs to ensure they know that if you are looking to increase top-line sales, reduce costs, improve profitability, reduce the risk of doing business, get access to the best contractor resources, get access to industry vendors and understand how to focus on your brand, BSCAI is the place to be. Another goal is to provide the latest information our contractors need to address their clients’ needs, such as understanding what ATP testing measures and how it can be used. 

Joining BSCAI means you are no longer alone in your quest for business growth and success in the janitorial industry. You have access to a network of more than 1,000 building service contracting companies and individuals who can provide you with answers and insights on business issues that matter to you. Regardless of your company size, BSCAI’s programs and services will help you excel in today’s competitive marketplace while enhancing your leadership skills and positioning yourself and your company for continued success. As a member, you have immediate access to the business tools needed to grow your client base, increase your profitability and reduce risk. BSCAI assists entrepreneurs, whether you are a start-up, mid-size or large company. 

The association has updated their designation and certification offerings over the last couple years. How do you plan to continue the momentum of these programs? 

One way to differentiate oneself among peers in this era of increased competition, clients and prospective customers alike, is to seek credentials that substantiate knowledge and experience. BSCAI offers two individual programs: the Registered Building Service Manager (RBSM) and Certified Building Service Executive (CBSE). BSCAI members also receive the member discount on their Certified Industry Management System (CIMS) company certification offered by ISSA. These designations provide a competitive edge that can be used to significantly enhance prospects for career advancement and opportunities. 

The RBSM designation is widely recognized and respected in the building service industry and demonstrates a person's commitment to the building service and contract security community. The CBSE designation is a symbol of accomplishment and is recognized with great respect by other building service contractors and customers throughout the industry. Professionals who achieve the CBSE have reached the highest, most exclusive designation in the industry. 

What will the educational/event offerings from BSCAI look like as members continue to navigate the pandemic in 2022? 

Throughout the year, BSCAI will be hosting four one-day Virtual Summits to help you and your team stay informed on the BSC industry by connecting and learning from others on sessions topics such as Human Resources, Finance, Operations and Sales. 

The Executive Management Conference is an opportunity offered each spring for BSC owners and their senior team to gather for business focused education and networking in an exclusive retreat setting. The Management Conference is a team-based educational event providing success-driven education ranging from creating balance in the workplace to industry-expert insight into more profitable sales, improvements in forecasting and increasing profitability. Seminar topics typically focus on business growth strategies, managing and motivating personnel and effective negotiations. 

The Annual Convention is BSCAI’s largest event — it takes place in the fall and brings together more than 500 BSCs of all sizes and levels for unparalleled contractor-specific education. This is the event for BSCs, created by BSCs, with more than 20 hours of education to choose from. In addition, BSCAI partners with the ISSA/INTERCLEAN trade show to give attendees complimentary access to North America’s largest industry-related trade show. The combination of these two powerful events in one place, for one price, has created a “can’t-miss” week for BSCs interested in growth. 

The CEO Seminar attracts an exclusive group of BSC chief executive officers and executives, who participate in inspirational, strategic leadership seminars led by internationally-recognized speakers. This intimate, three-day gathering provides attendees with success-driven education, focused on effective leadership, key business growth strategies and high-impact tactics. Attendees network and learn among a group of like-minded peers and return to their businesses rejuvenated and energized. 

Lastly, BSCAI is pleased to have launched its first podcast series, Contracting Conversations. This podcast, now entering its fourth season, presents new ideas, solutions, and tips for contract cleaning and facility services. Each episode features an interview with a different business owner, entrepreneur, industry leader, or subject-matter expert on relevant topics and current events. Topics in this series cover the industry’s pandemic response, as well as industry dynamics impacting contractors, customer insights, company culture, business growth, leadership, professional development, and many more.  

The contract cleaning industry is always changing. How will BSCAI remain relevant to BSCs in the next five to 10 years? 

Because BSCAI is by contractors for contractors, we are at the forefront of contractor education and growth needs. We will continue to provide the latest courses and opportunities to those who want to partner with contractors for contractors. For over 55 years, BSCAI is the place to be for contractors and has a proven track record of providing value. Another growing benefit is that BSCAI members save with its Trusted Partner Programs and Member Discount Partners through the National Service Alliance (NSA). 

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