It's a warm day in Rockford and even toastier inside West Middle School, but the heat isn't hampering GCA Custodians from scrubbing the schools spotless, in fact, many of the 185 employees have been working overtime to get the job done.
"Pretty much working seven days a week-getting as much done as possible. It's slow, it's hot, heat slows us down quite a bit. And the 3 story buildings, the higher you go up, the hotter it's going to get," says Project Manager Jeff Schmidt.
Schmidt says 75 percent of the 54 school buildings have already been cleaned, but while work is on track, Schmidt says there are some emotional bruises that still need to be healed.
"There are still some that are holding it pretty hard. And I can feel that pain...to have a job and to be 'outsourced'--that bad word 'outsourced.' Nobody likes to hear it, but it was a choice the district made, and we're here due to a choice of a district. They chose to hire us, so we have a job to do, and we're doing it to the best of our ability," says Schmidt.
Some of the district's former employees were hired on with GCA, and "I'm still waiting on the promise we made to the district, and the people working at the district. If they wanted jobs, they had to come see us and fill out an application. And we would give first preference to these people--but I'm still waiting for these people to come in," says Schmidt.
Schmidt says as the company waits for background checks to come back, he's estimating that they'll need to hire another 100 employees. Schmidt says GCA is happy to be a part of the district and he's hoping that time will continue to clean--and heal-- any open wounds.
Applications can be picked up at the Rockford Board of Education office...or you can call the office at 966-3021.