For four years, CleanTurn International has been helping individuals with barriers to employment work towards self-sufficiency. The social enterprise has not only created over 300 employment opportunities, but acts as an incubator growing each of its service branches into self-sustaining businesses.
The first to find success as its own entity is She Has a Name Cleaning Services. President & CEO John Rush says that while CleanTurn broadly addresses employment issues, each spinoff will have a more niche focus with a social mission.
She Has a Name’s mission is two-fold – create awareness around human trafficking, domestic violence and other issues that affect women and provide a platform for job training and employment.
“Our goal is to provide high-quality cleaning services and to leverage those services as a means to provide a safe place for individuals to reach their full potential,” Rush says. “Cleaning with care, cleaning with a cause.”
She Has a Name provides janitorial cleaning services to commercial contractors, covering everything from commercial spaces to rough and final cleans for general contractors. These services account for about 75 percent of business, while the addition of residential services with last year’s launch has grown to make up about a quarter of their business.
“What’s cool about that is the number of individuals who plug into the mission of what we are all about,” Rush says. “Because I love your mission, I’d love for you to come clean my house.”
Rush explains that the more work they are able to secure, the more people that buy into that mission, the more programming they are able to provide – programming that addresses things like childcare, financial literacy and mental health.
She Has a Name works with each employee individually from day one to figure out what they need on the path to interdependent self-sufficiency. Many women are dealing with substance abuse or partner dependency issues and breaking those cycles is the business’ biggest challenge and biggest opportunity.
“You can achieve what’s best for you and your family because of who you are,” Rush says of the attitude they encourage in their employees.
She Has a Name puts the interdependent in front of self-sufficient not to encourage dependence between employees or staff, but to signify that to the degree one individual does well, other women after her are going to get that opportunity as well.
Rush tells a story of an African-American woman who received a job outside of the organization in the electrical trades and promised that she wouldn’t let him down. He said it wasn’t about letting him down or herself down, but about paving the way for others. No one got where they are by themselves, and if she does well in the position, that can create opportunities for others. Rush says they want to see individuals that can take care of themselves and their families, but are also invested in the neighborhood and community.
This is just one example of the 50 plus women She Has a Name has been able to provide employment to in a year span. Rush says about about 35 percent of their staff between the two businesses have been able to move on to other opportunities.
“We’ve not been able to grow fast enough to keep up with the growth of the individuals we hire,” Rush says.
It’s actually something they welcome.
“We’re constantly encouraging our guys and gals to find an opportunity in the marketplace,” Rush adds.
They don’t want to hold anyone back but encourage employees to move on to other, better opportunities as available. Some individuals have also been able to move up through the company ranks into back office positions.
She Has a Name wouldn’t be able to accomplish all that it does without its staff. Rush cites Managing Director Kelsie Scudder as a driving force in their success.
“It takes a strong, business-oriented leader who is also extremely mission focused and Kelsie embodies that,” Rush says.
She not only tackles the day-to-day, but acts as a coach and mentor to the women She Has a Name employs.
As the organization as a whole moves from the startup phase and looks to the future, Rush is focused on how the business can scale and part of that vision was to move into a new space. The business recently made the move from South Linden to a more centrally-located spot in Franklinton.
“We knew we wanted to be in a community where we could add economic value,” Rush says.
It all happened sooner than they thought thanks to their contracting partner Lithko Restoration. The business had a large space in the neighborhood and gave the business a deal they couldn’t pass up with six times the space. But more important than the space is the owner’s belief in CleanTurn and She Has a Name and desire to figure out how to leverage his own business to employ individuals facing challenges.
She Has a Name Cleaning Services and CleanTurn will host an open house at their new space in Franklinton, 1059 Cable Ave. Suite A, on March 22 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Open to the community, current and former employees of the two businesses will share their stories and Rush will share his vision for the organization.
For more information, visit shancleaning.com.