Since 1991, W. Marion Ivey, Cleaning Management Institute’s (CMI) Director of Training, has provided technical professional training covering commercial and industrial cleaning.
Also founder and president of Ivey’s Training and Consulting Services, Ivey began training internationally in 2002 as well.
As a follow up to last month’s CMI 50th anniversary feature, we asked Ivey how CMI’s respected training and certification programs have helped the cleaning industry evolve.
Phillip Lawless: How did you get your start training workers using CMI materials?
W. Marion Ivey: I actually started in the industry on Oct. 1, 1980. I entered the industry through the Oregon Department of Corrections, into their vocational education department as an instructor.
I was employed to literally start a building cleaning maintenance program for the clientele that would be going back into the community. It was called, at that time, work-based education training for reintegrating people who had been convicted of certain crime categories. So this was a good program that they thought would make a nice launch for them to reintegrate back into society.
I stayed with them until, I believe, 1992. At that time I moved over to the local community college here in Salem, Oregon, the state capital. But the connection with Cleaning Management Institute started in 1989. At that time CMI was located outside of Irvine, California. Dan and Nancy Harris were the owners of the company.
In Chicago of 1990, [the operation] moved to the east coast. Humphrey Tyler and Susan Tyler, who owned other publications, bought Cleaning & Maintenance magazine from Dan and Nancy. At that point in time, it became a Latham, New York based organization.
I had only been working with the program in the correctional setting for a year at that point and time. I was at the meeting, matter of fact, in Chicago at the Hilton when this transaction was being finalized because we had a cleaning conference that I was attending there.
Humphrey and Susan wanted to meet me — the guy who was using the program rather successfully out of Oregon in the Oregon Department of Education minimum security facility.
It was later that year I launched the program part time at the local junior college, Chemeketa Community College here in Salem. I did that part time in the evenings and summers, and then I hired on with the college as a full-time faculty in 1992 and stayed with them until 2002.
I then launched my full-time enterprise, which is known as Ivey’s Training and Consulting Services. I went international later that year with the program as well. So I’ve been with the program a long time.
PL: With our 50th anniversary this year, we’re discussing the positive impact that Cleaning & Maintenance Management and CMI have. From your experience, how have we helped the cleaning industry develop as a professional enterprise?
MI: There’s no doubt in my mind that one of the things, and the biggest influence without a question, is the fact that the educational entity or component has elevated the cleaning industry nationwide as well as internationally. It actually highlighted that if you train folks and give them the understanding of why we’re going to use the chemicals that we use … this empowered folks to do it more efficiently.
In our society, efficiency always equates to dollars. That had been a big issue in the industry itself. And that’s one of the areas where I think CMI has made the most impact.
Being a third party entity means you have this objective training program that says we don’t have a vested interest in you buying somebody’s specific product or anybody’s specific cleaning equipment. We’re basically giving you the science and the technical aspect of why it is we clean, why you should be using certain types of equipment, why you should use certain cleaning chemicals — all in the name of efficiency.
That efficiency has been a hit across the industry — both nationally and internationally. People want that more efficient operation and they understand now, they can connect the dots. If they can get their folks trained and certified, it does elevate them to a higher status and help them clean more efficiently and more effectively.
PL: What would be the main reason an operation should invest in training?
MI: There’s no doubt in my mind, philosophy wise. If you empower the people in the trenches that are actually getting job done day in and day out, you are going to have not only a more efficient operation, but a more effective operation as well.
Now it’s not about just giving them … the “blue stuff” or the “red stuff” in terms of the chemicals. Now they are educated and they understand the science. They understand what products they need to remove acidic components, soil wise. They understand the chemical product that they should go and select to remove the alkaline soil that we basically encounter in buildings.
I think having that is important — and I’ve actually witnessed it. People, number one, they become more excited about what they do because now they understand the why.
Anytime you can take a human being and help them understand why they’re going to do a certain process or a certain procedure, they tend to be more energized. They tend to be more effective at doing that task.