County commissioners celebrate cleaning service with BEi

Photo submitted to Times Observer From left are Commissioner Jeff Eggleston, Matt Johnson, Jeremy Larson, Jeff DePetro, Nichole Huya, and Dr. William Clark.

Warren County Government has employed Bollinger Enterprises, Inc. (BEi) cleaning service for all county properties for over six months, which has helped provide integrated employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. A six-month celebration was recently conducted as a show of thanks.

Towards the end of 2017, with the changes to sheltered workshop regulations and an increased push by the state to integrate persons with disabilities into the workforce, BEi came to the commissioners to request support for efforts to expand BEi’s operations.

The commissioners began working with Dr. William Clark, Executive Director of BEi, on a plan to have BEi consumers (persons with disabilities) work with BEi staff on a comprehensive cleaning program.

The program started in November of 2017 and was set up so the bulk of the cleaning is done during the day so that BEi consumers had direct contact with the county staff.

“BEi needed assistance as they weren’t sure how they were going to accommodate the changes in regulations,” said Commissioner Ben Kafferlin. “This arrangement seemed mutually beneficial and a great cause for everyone to get involved in. I am so glad we moved forward with this.”

Initially, there were concerns that cleaning during the day would be disruptive, or the staff and consumers from BEi might be invasive while conducting business during the day.

What has happened is actually the opposite, where the staff and directors welcome and enjoy the company of the BEi crew in the courthouse and other facilities. The cleaning service has also been appreciated and well done.

On Monday, June 25, a celebration was conducted at the Courthouse with Dr. Clark, Jeff DePetro, Candy Martin, Matt Johnson, Nicole Huya, and Jeremy Larson from BEi in the Commissioners’ office that involved cake and a discussion about the program and its outcomes.

While enjoying some conversation, Pamela J. Matve, Chief Clerk, read some comments that she had received from Department Heads and a couple of staff members.

Matt Nordin, Maintenance Supervisor wrote, “I have the opportunity to interact with the crews in the hallways and they are always very pleasant to talk to and they are always very respectful. I have noticed as time has passed they seem to be a lot more relaxed as they move about the building. I always enjoy seeing them.”

Dan Glotz, Planning & Zoning Director, wrote “They are doing a fine job! All of the clients are personable and contentious. I don’t think our offices have been cleaner!”

Treasurer Dennis Munksgard wrote, “the BEI employees are always friendly and courteous. When constituents are present in my office the BEI employees are very respectful not to disrupt our conversations. We appreciate their professionalism.”

Lori Bimber, Register and Recorder, wrote, “They are always very friendly and courteous. Very accommodating to our needs and respectful if we are waiting on people, we enjoy having them come into our office.”

Lorri Dunlap, Grants Administrator, “They are very thorough in their job. They vacuum often, they even wash the windows. The staff is ALL very pleasant, cheerful, professional, and polite! I like that they come during office hours — I feel more ‘secure’ about my office.”

Matve, Chief Clerk stated, “I have had the opportunity to work with Dr. Clark and his staff since the inception of BEI cleaning the offices I can tell you that the client cares about the work they do and it shows. They are courteous and considerate of the staff in the offices. We could not ask for a better crew to be cleaning our offices here at the courthouse.”

When we asked the staff what they thought of working in the courthouse, Nicole Huya stated that she “likes coming to the courthouse.” Matt Johnson added that he “likes cleaning in the evenings”, and Jeremy Larson concluded that he too “likes coming to the courthouse”. Each of them stated that our staff treats them very well and that they enjoy the work.

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston said, “The county started using BEI and their clients to participate in a program that allows BEI to get grant funding to get their clients out in working environments interacting with the public. We could not ask for a better partner in this effort. They are truly personable, fun to work with and they always brighten up the Courthouse with their smiles.”

“I also would like to thank Pam Matve, Chief Clerk, as she really is the architect of this program,” said Eggleston. “Without her, I doubt we would have ever set this up. She went above and beyond to make this work and did a great job.”

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