About 15 years ago, the custodial staff at Drake University cleaned by zone. Each cleaner tackled a building or two and performed all cleaning tasks within that zone. By July of 2003, they were ready for a change. With the help of Sodexo, the custodial department implemented a systematized approach to cleaning using teams of specialists, the Sodexo Cleaning System. They also committed to Cleaning for Health.
There are four types of specialist in the Sodexo Cleaning System: the Utility Specialist, the Light Duty Specialist, the Vacuum Specialist, and the Restroom Specialist. Each Drake custodian went through a 20-hour training course to become a specialist and perfect his or her cleaning skills. The Vacuum Specialists learned how to properly fit, use, and maintain their ProTeam backpack vacuums. Currently, Drake custodians use two models of the backpack vacuum, the ProTeam Super Coach Pro and the ProTeam Super CoachVac.
“The ProTeam backpack vacuums are great,” said Custodial Manager Nancy Macedo. “They are comfortable. They clean well, and they reduce overall dust levels which are an important part of the process of our cleaning system. We know we are Cleaning for Health.”
According to Macedo, using ProTeam backpack vacuums increased the longevity of the filters in the HVAC system and reduced the amount of dust on horizontal surfaces throughout the university’s buildings. Reducing dust and particulate matter is an important part of creating a healthy indoor environment. One of the key goals of the Sodexo Cleaning System is to clean for health rather than for appearance.
“It’s important to have good air quality, so that students can concentrate on passing their exams,” said Macedo. “They won’t learn to their best benefit if they are suffering from allergies due to dust or poor cleaning. We are here for the students, and we want them to feel good in our buildings.”
The Drake University custodial crew cleans 58 academic and residence halls plus 55 rental housing properties. Prior to switching to the Sodexo Cleaning System and backpack vacuums, the custodial department had 67 custodians. After the switch, they reduced their staff to 58 custodians and two supervisors. Macedo has also seen an improvement in safety.
“We have less injuries and accidents in the custodial department. It is also easier to provide coverage when we are short-staffed,” said Macedo. “With the Sodexo Cleaning System and ProTeam backpack vacuums, we have cleaner buildings and better quality of work. We know our buildings are healthy for the students.”
Learn more about Drake University’s cleaning program here.