Congress will again be taking a close look at immigration — this time, in the form of a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill. The Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy (STRIVE) Act was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in March by Reps. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill.

The bill would allow roughly 12 million illegal immigrants to eventually legalize their status after paying fees and passing a background check. It creates both a system through which employers can check employees’ work status and a guest-worker program that would start by taking in 400,000 low-skilled workers per year. Much of the bill also pertains to border security, requiring the certification of border and interior enforcement efforts prior to the guest-worker program’s start. Penalties on immigrants who commit crimes would substantially increase. The bill also proposes that the head of the household of illegal immigrant families go home to fill out paperwork within six years of registering with the government — and immigrants from far-flung countries would have the option of going to Canada or Mexico rather than returning all the way home.

Story Told Through BSC’s Eyes

Todd Hopkins, the founder and CEO of Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services, Franklin, Ind., has co-authored a motivational business book, “The Janitor,” which will hit U.S. bookstores in July. The inspirational and thought-provoking book about how a company’s janitor and CEO strike up an unlikely friendship has already sold more than a quarter-million copies overseas.

The fable of Janitor Bob Tidwell counseling the CEO Roger Kimbrough was inspired by Hopkins’ personal experiences interviewing many over-qualified retired businessmen for a nightly janitor position, many of whom sought the job simply because they needed something to do. Hopkins thought those men would make valuable mentors for young business people, and thus the book’s scenario sprung to mind.

“This is a very real-life situation, as I observed from first-hand experience, that it is the CEOs over in the corner office who are still working when the janitors are arriving to do the nightly cleaning,” says Hopkins. “It is very common for janitors to build relationships with those people who stay late for work.”

The book, co-authored by Ray Hilbert, was written from the perspective of a building service contractor, highlighting the struggle with balancing the demands of work and family and suggesting ways to recharge mentally and physically to become as productive as possible. It is published by Thomas Nelson Publishing, Inc.

Illinois Schools A Step Closer To Green

The Illinois House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the Green Clean Schools Act March 21. The act would require all elementary and secondary schools in the state to purchase only environmentally sensitive cleaning supplies. (See March NewsBriefs.)

The bill requires a state environmental council to establish guidelines and specifications for green cleaning and maintenance products used in educational facilities. All public and private schools must then establish a green-cleaning policy that includes the exclusive purchase and use of environmentally sensitive cleaning products as pursuant to guidelines. An exemption is provided for schools that demonstrate the mandated green cleaning program would cost more than traditional cleaning.

A variety of supporters, including cleaning professionals, environmental leaders and educators, back the bill, which was created with the help of the Healthy Schools Campaign, a nonprofit organization based in Illinois. The campaign is now working with Senate leaders to introduce the bill at that level.

Meanwhile, the Illinois Senate passed the Energy Efficient School Construction Act, which would encourage green building choices for schools, March 30. The bill would allow school districts to receive an additional 5 percent in state funding for projects that meet certain energy efficiency and healthy building standards. House leaders are being sought to introduce similar legislation.


ProTeam, Inc. Announced
the promotion of Matthew M. Wood to president and CEO of the company’s ProTeam division in early March. Wood was the president and CEO of daily sales and operations of the Boise, Idaho-based manufacturer of commercial and residential vacuum products since June 2005. Wood’s 26 years of management experience in the manufacturing sector include positions with Preco, Inc. and SCP Global Technologies, Inc.

Carl J. Betz, founder of janitorial supply manufacturer Betco Corp., Toledo, Ohio, passed away on Feb. 24.

In 1950, Betz and his wife, Ann, co-founded Betco Corp., a distributor which quickly turned into a manufacturer with just two products: Betco Concentrate all-purpose cleaner and Virox disinfecting toilet bowl cleaner. Betz retired as CEO in 1990, but remained active in the cleaning industry until last year.

“Carpet Cleaning Tips For Dummies,” a new book sponsored by the Carpet and Rug Institute and, provides simple solutions for fighting dirt, removing spots and stains, using the right products and using professional cleaning services. The book, by household management expert Elizabeth Goldsmith, offers the best cleaning techniques and identifies products and equipment to get the best results.

The San Jose (Calif.) City Council adopted a revised Green Building Policy in early March requiring all new municipal buildings more than 10,000 square feet to achieve at least a U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver level certification. Buildings certified at that minimal level are then expected to attain Gold or Platinum level certification. The policy will apply to all new projects starting with fiscal year 2007-2008.

Tennant Co. Announced it will sponsor the Healthy Schools Campaign’s “Quick and Easy Guide to Green Cleaning In Schools,” a multimedia handbook that outlines five steps schools can take to establish and implement a green cleaning program.