vacancy neon sign

Building service contractors are frequently troubled by employee retention rates, especially at janitorial positions. It seems almost as common for a janitor to leave after a few months on the job as it is one for one to stay for several years. The loss of employees who are made legal to work through DACA and TPS would make the situation even more difficult for many BSCs.

“The potential loss (of TPS workers) in 2019 and eventual wind down of DACA is going to have a very negative impact on the industry,” says Monty.

It’s fair to assume the swift and forced exit of DACA and TPS workers could leave some companies so understaffed that they could temporarily be unable to meet the requirements necessary to keep their businesses functioning.

Not many of the employees at Servicon Systems in Culver City, California are working through TPS — roughly 80. Still, the company could feel some discomfort from losing theses workers.

“It may have a negative impact on our business and exacerbate an existing problem in staffing our accounts,” says Richard Conti, Servicon Systems’ chief people officer.

The loss of quality employees alone would hurt. But it doesn’t end there.

“It creates work on our end to replace them,” says Michael Diamond, managing partner of AffinECO, LLC, Bridgeport, Connecticut, and the head of Building Service Contractors Association International’s government affair council.

The termination of DACA or TPS workers because their status expires would be even more an issue now when unemployment is low and good applicants are in less abundance, says Diamond.

“We work to have low turnover … any time you lose anybody it’s difficult,” adds Diamond.

The expiration of TPS could also make it more difficult for Servicon Systems to recruit candidates for jobs paying entry-level wages, says Conti. However, he says that possible issue wouldn’t even be the primary concern for some.

“More importantly, it is scary to many of our employees who have friends and family who could be impacted by this,” says Conti.

While both DACA recipients and TPS beneficiaries find employment through building service contractors, it’s important to note they work at different levels of employment, says Monty. Not as much is required to work under TPS as it is for DACA, so TPS recipients are more likely to work as janitors. Adults eligible to work in the United States through DACA, however, must either be in school, or possess a GED or high school diploma.

“These (DACA recipients) are core people in the industry,” says Monty. “It’s important to understand we’re not talking about day laborers, casual people.”

In addition to the educational background, Monty says nearly all DACA recipients write, read and speak English well because they’ve typically come to the United States at a young age. The level of education, comprehension of language, lack of criminal record, and common possession of a driver’s license makes DACA recipients over-qualified for many entry-level positions in the jan/san industry.

While they’re not forced to be as educated as DACA recipients, TPS beneficiaries are still sound individuals, says Monty. Some have completed high school or a GED program and commonly possess a driver’s license. While their English speaking can be suspect, some TPS beneficiaries have risen to the top of their industry, says Monty.


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