Unleashing the Power of CleaningBy John Nothdurft | April 25, 2019 << Back to Articles
What is the power of cleaning?
No, I am not referring to how strong cleaning products are, or the ability of a crew to clean a stadium after an exciting football game.
I’m talking about the influencing power the cleaning industry, when organized, can have on some of the most important policy and regulatory issues facing the industry.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017 there were more than 3.5 million workers in the cleaning service industry. This doesn’t even include the jobs created, directly and indirectly, by manufacturers and distributors of cleaning products and equipment.
The contributions don’t stop there.
According to IBISWorld, total revenues from janitorial services and equipment supply wholesaling were US$86.2 billion and the value added to the economy was US$37.2 billion. This equates to hundreds of millions of dollars in federal, state, and local tax revenues for government services.
Despite the enormous contributions to the economy, public health, and in tax revenues, the cleaning industry continually faces legislative and regulatory challenges at the federal, state, and local levels. Issues, such as how the U.S. might deal with labor shortages, how cleaning chemicals should be regulated, and tax reform, can all have a negative or positive impact on the industry, depending on how these laws and regulations are constructed. The decisions made by lawmakers and regulators can have a huge impact on the cleaning industry.
ISSA understands how important it is for the cleaning industry to have a unified voice in Washington D.C. and the 50 state capitals on behalf of its members. One of our strategic objectives is that, “ISSA will be the leading resource for information, education, networking, and commercial opportunities, as well as the leading voice in government and the community for firms within the cleaning industry worldwide.”
Since ISSA is the only trade association representing the entire supply chain of the cleaning industry, we are in a unique position when it comes to affecting public policy. ISSA is the only organization that can engage and activate our more than 9,300 members, as well as those who are positively affected by the cleaning industry.
As a result, I was brought on board in January 2019 to take our advocacy efforts to the next level. I bring more than 13 years of experience working in government affairs, public policy, and advocacy at the federal and state levels to ISSA. In speaking with staff and members since joining, I have been incredibly impressed by the amount of knowledge and passion for the cleaning industry everyone has. These are two of the most important ingredients a trade association need to have an effective advocacy program.
The goal of our advocacy efforts will be to create a legislative and regulatory environment that allows the worldwide cleaning industry to thrive. We understand our members are passionate about building their business, innovating, and bettering their craft, and don’t want to worry about a new law or regulation encroaching on their business or profession.
ISSA plans to implement three main strategies to achieve these goals:
- Educate: We will efficiently and effectively educate our members, policymakers, and the public about the value of cleaning, our industry, and the positive economic and health impact we have on the world.
- Engage: We will engage our members, policymakers, regulators, the grassroots, and allies on priority issues in a targeted and effective way.
- Evaluate: We will continually measure, evaluate, and report our advocacy efforts and successes back to our members to show our value to them.
ISSA will use these strategies to advocate for policies that create a pro-business environment where the entire supply chain—from in-house service providers and building service contractors, to distributors and manufacturers—can operate and grow. Additionally, we will aim to ensure that our advocacy priorities closely align with specific member needs and concerns based on the issues they face the most.
ISSA’s advocacy will be member focused, as we understand you are the most effective advocate for the cleaning industry. Ultimately, when it comes to influencing public policy at the federal and state levels, it is you, our members, who can have the biggest impact! As a result, I hope you will join us in our efforts to help make ISSA the leading advocate of the worldwide cleaning industry.
In exchange, our government affairs and regulatory team will work tirelessly with federal, state, and local lawmakers and regulators to ensure that the policies and regulations that are adopted allow the cleaning industry to be successful, while also providing your customers and the public with a cleaner and healthier environment.
In the coming months, ISSA’s Government Affairs Department will launch tools to help educate and engage our members when it comes to the most pressing issues facing the cleaning industry. Some of these tools will include the rollout of an “Action Center” web page where you will be able to quickly and easily connect with your elected officials. Here, you will also have access to one-page backgrounders on priority issues, shareable action alerts, regular updates about our advocacy efforts, and much more.
If you are interested in learning more about ISSA’s advocacy efforts or if you would like to become more involved in our efforts, please contact me directly at 847-982-3453 or at email@example.com.
Also, if you are already engaged in the political or legislative process on issues relating to the cleaning industry, please let us know. I look forward to working with each of you to show federal and state policymakers the “power of cleaning.”
About the Author.
John Nothdurft is the Director of Government Affairs for ISSA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.