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The Smart Buildings Center (SBC) is proud to partner with SEIU Local 49 to support the Portland Green Janitor Education Program (GJEP). The GJEP is a national program developed by the Building Skills Partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles (USGBC-LA), the Building Owners and Managers Association of Greater Los Angeles, and the Service Employees International Union. The program is a qualified USGBC program through which janitors are accredited in green building cleaning practices to help meet the latest energy, water, and environmental sustainability standards. The GJEP curriculum addresses energy efficiency, recycling, waste management, water conservation and other sustainable and green cleaning practices.

The GJEP is certified by USGBC and qualifies buildings for an additional point on LEED certification applications. According to a SeedLA , 76% of buildings that have utilized the program to educate their staff have seen reductions in energy and water use, and on average participating buildings use 5.6% less energy than non-participating buildings.

The program in Portland is financed through partnerships between building owners, janitorial companies, SEIU Local 49, and grant funding provided by the Portland Clean Energy Fund. So far, Able and ABM janitors at four Portland office towers owned by American Assets Trust and Unico Properties have completed the program.

Recent GJEP graduates at the Moda Tower in Portland proudly display their certificates.
Photo credit: SEIU Local 49

The GJEP compliments SBC’s mission to enable a cleaner, healthier and more productive future through the use of smart technologies and practices in the built environment. SBC delivers and promotes training programs to educate and elevate the building workforce of the future, providing a career and credential pathway for individuals to obtain a meaningful career in facilities.

“Janitors are on the frontlines of building operations, noticing trends and potential areas of improvement for occupancy comfort and energy savings before anyone else in the building” said Shino Severson, SBC Senior Project Manager. “By investing in training janitorial staff, organizations invest in their future to promote individuals throughout the organization, experience less employee turnover, and realize short- and long-term achievements in improving the health, cleanliness and sustainability of their buildings.”

By increasing the recognition of the important role these individuals play in their buildings, the GJEP can help build the pipeline for those entering the field of facilities through credentials and training. This skilled workforce provides valuable energy and resource savings to building owners and organizations while helping to advance sustainability efforts.

“SEIU Local 49 members appreciate the partnership with SBC to work together for a cleaner future for all” said Scott Cheesewright, SEIU Local 49 Assistant Director of Property Services Organizing. “We’re thrilled that janitors become involved more closely in important building processes and decisions around energy and water use, waste stream management, green chemicals, and workplace health and safety through this critical program.”

To learn more, watch the GJEP promotional video and read the SEIU Local 49 program update.


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