Kimberly-Clark Professional ISSA Scholarships Empower Small & Women-owned Businesses

Categories: Cleaning for Health, ISSA, Management

By Dianna O’Neill & Zehra Mehdi-Barlas | March 10, 2021 << Back to Articles Kimberly-Clark Professional ISSA Scholarships Empower Small & Women-owned Businesses

As COVID-19 ground economies to a halt, a small business owner in Americus, Georgia anxiously pondered her future. Brandi Harper worried how her family-run cleaning company would survive.

As CEO of Haylo Window Cleaning, she also felt responsible for the wellbeing of her small team and the financial impact on their families. “We faced hardships as a lot of our clients closed down and with residential work not a go for several months, we wondered if there was anything in the market that would even work,” said Harper. The team decided to pivot to disinfection cleaning services and that is when Harper came across the Kimberly-Clark Professional-sponsored ISSA and Global Biorisk Advisory Council™ (GBAC) scholarships.

To address the needs of cleaning professionals during the pandemic, Kimberly-Clark Professional (KCP) announced a scholarship program to help smaller cleaning organizations achieve GBAC certification. The program, in collaboration with ISSA, the worldwide cleaning association, and GBAC, a Division of ISSA, focuses on prevention, response and control measures for biohazards in the workplace—with a special emphasis on infection and contamination control measures for infectious disease outbreak situations such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that  causes COVID-19. Smaller businesses are given priority placement into the program. 

“The KCP scholarship GBAC certification program provided us an opportunity that we would not have had otherwise,” said Harper. This initiative allowed them to train their staff, send technicians in the field, and provided them the opportunity to confidently serve their customers and deliver a healthy and safe work environment.

To date, the KCP initiative has provided 6,131 scholarships in 84 countries. It has helped 3,900 organizations achieve their advanced cleaning and hygiene GBAC certification and give their employees a safe workplace. In addition, the program is close to its goal to award 50% of scholarships to women.

“In our industry, we know better than most the hard work and dedication it takes to be a cleaning professional, especially during this crisis,” said Susan Gambardella, President, KCP North America. “We wanted to empower our heroes working tirelessly behind the scenes as they help critical businesses run safely.”

At a time when workplaces must follow and implement strict protocols, cleaning professionals have seen their jobs take on new meaning. “We are needed,” said Harper.

Scholarships are still available. To learn more or apply, please visit:

View Harper’s and her team’s journey in the below video

About the Author.

Dianna O’Neill is the Director Global Communications for Kimberly-Clark Professional and  Zehra Mehdi-Barlas is the company's Strategic Communications Business Partner. For more information, visit