Held every year during the second full week of September (12th-18th in 2021), International Housekeepers and Environmental Services Week is a week dedicated to recognizing the efforts of hard-working custodial staff members. During a global pandemic, we have seen these unsung heroes on the front lines to keep facilities clean and safe for those who work, visit, and travel here.
At the core of any successful business is cleanliness and order. A clean facility is one of the first things customers notice and one of the last things they remember. Having a dirty, unkept space creates negative impressions that reflect poorly on an organization. It was once said that housekeeping is like being caught in a revolving door. It’s a full time, 24/7 job at RIC and that door never stops turning.
At RIC, Mr. Paul Barksdale leads a team of cleaning professionals. Paul is well known around the Terminal Building and throughout the Airport campus as someone who gets things done. He is proud of his team, and personally inspects the facility to ensure RIC Building Services high standards are maintained no matter the circumstance. As the Commission’s largest department the Building Services team work 24/7/365. Since the COVID-19 pandemic started in early 2020 those standards have become even more stringent. Despite the challenge of the pandemic RIC has been accredited as a “GBAC STAR” facility thanks to Mr. Barksdale and his team. This accreditation is bestowed by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council after a detailed review of an organization’s work practices, procedures and systems.
Prior to the pandemic the Building Services department employed 48 team members on three shifts. That number currently sits at 34 employees. Like most companies staffing has been a struggle during the pandemic. Even with this reduction in staffing and the increase in passenger travel CRAC Building Services continue to present a clean safe and sanitary environment.
Each year Building Services installs over 18,000 rolls of jumbo toilet paper in public restrooms. Over 23,000 packs of paper towels are used. Annually 624 twelve liter boxes of soap are used to resupply dispensers for customer use.
Paul and the entire CRAC team recognize and celebrate the Building Services team at RIC. Team members are treated to a recognition luncheon and receive gift cards and certificates for their hard work. They also receive a specially ordered t-shirt that they are encouraged to wear during housekeeping week. These gestures are a way to thank these folks for doing an otherwise thankless job.
Please join us in recognizing Building Services for their efforts and thank the dedicated employees who are such a vital part of the team’s success.