By Marklin Alford
Providing people with the tools and education they need to do a job successfully can be a challenge, but when it happens the rewards are immeasurable.
In 2013, with the encouragement of Charles Wax, I was recruited to be one of the instructors for the City College of San Francisco’s Custodial & Porter Training Course program, which trains and educates students for entry level employment as a custodian. Over 200 students take this course every semester.
This program has been in existence for 25 years, and is a requirement for those who wish to work for the City of San Francisco. CCSF offers this free class at night and on Saturdays for two semesters a year, and has been an employment gateway for those who have had a difficult time finding a job. Some of these students are also required to take an English as a second language course (ESL) to be certified for employment.
I am one of several instructors who share our knowledge and expertise on a number of subjects that students need to master, including safety, how to properly use tools and equipment, cleaning techniques, as well as using cleaning chemicals correctly. All of the instructors have been in the Jan/San industry for years, and have worked in different sectors including hospitals and large public facilities, so students are well prepared for different types of working environments once they complete the program. Each instructor is assigned to a class with the responsibility of teaching the same curriculum, but each has a different personalized take on the presentation.
One of the classes getting hands-on training with floor machines
Custodians have to be knowledgeable about numerous subjects, and a lot is covered over the course of the 108 hours of class time so that students are equipped to handle any situation that they come across whether dealing with coffee spots in carpeting or knowing the difference between proper sanitizing and disinfecting of hard surfaces. There is quite a bit of science to cleaning, and can make a big difference not only aesthetically, but in preventing the spread of infections.
Students are graded throughout the semester with a series of quizzes, a mid-term, and a 100 question final on everything that has been covered in the course.
WAXIE has been a proud supporter of my work at CCSF and has assisted by arranging opportunities for our vendor partners to bring in their new equipment for hands-on training purposes.
Currently the custodial course is listed under the Construction Department, but the Custodial Team at CCSF is working on a portal that will bring an online visitor to a dedicated webpage specific to their program.
It has been an honor to be a part of this program to help others gain employment opportunities. It makes smile when I run into a former student, who thanks me for helping them get a job, while I’m in and out of different facilities in the Bay Area. Completely makes my day!
Marklin Alford is a WAXIE Account Consultant based at the WAXIE Northern California branch in Livermore, CA. He finds being able to share his professional knowledge with others in the community very rewarding, especially if it allows someone to have better opportunities in the future.