Advocating for Advocacy

Categories: ISSA, Management, Regulatory

By Mikel Gabrielson | May 28, 2019 << Back to Articles

One of the many rewarding parts about working at ISSA is the chance to connect with you, our members, learn about your business, and assist you with getting the most value from being a member as possible. For some members that value might come from helping connect you with business opportunities at one of our great trade shows or informing you about new trainings or certifications we are offering.

A benefit we are expanding at ISSA is our commitment to advocate on behalf of the cleaning industry. Historically, the bulk of ISSA’s work in this space has been focused on helping our members comply with laws and regulations going into effect. Based on feedback from our members and our board of directors we have decided to become more proactive when it comes to advocacy efforts.

In January 2019, my colleague John Nothdurft was brought on board as director of government affairs to help take our advocacy efforts to the next level. We are extremely excited about the impact ISSA and our members can have on the issues that matter most to the cleaning industry moving forward.

A major issue I hear about regularly from members is the shortage of qualified labor.  Our members throughout the cleaning supply-chain are hard pressed to find enough employees to fill their openings due in part to record low unemployment and other factors.

One specific labor issue no one can avoid hearing about in the news or on social media is immigration. While viewpoints on the topic range greatly, most American’s generally agree the current immigration system is broken. ISSA members understand this firsthand more than most as they deal with many of the failures of our immigration system daily. This isn’t a political issue for them—this is a business issue.

Over the course of the next few months we will be further educating and engaging our members on a myriad of different topics and new resources related to advocacy. One of these new resources will be regular webinars on our policy priorities and our advocacy efforts.

For example on May 29, ISSA held a complimentary webinar on immigration reform for our members. The webinar gave an update on the where immigration reform stands today, how the cleaning industry is affected by the absence of reform, and what ISSA is doing to weigh in on the issue in DC. The webinar is accessible here.

In addition to the big picture discussion of immigration reform, we will explore recent Administrative activities including workforce audits, electronic verification, social security no match letters and activity related to various work-based visa programs. Additionally, the speakers will discuss the increased number of workplace audits being conducted by both U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

I invite all our members who are interested in our advocacy efforts to please reach out to us and get engaged. I look forward to working with our team at ISSA to ensure that the cleaning industry has an influential voice when policies and regulations affecting the cleaning industry are being debated. As always, if there is anything I can do to improve your ISSA membership, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected].

About the Author.

Mikel Gabrielson is ISSA's Director of Membership and Outreach. He can be reached at 847-982-3477 or [email protected]