Mar 01, 2010 Miranda L. Pennock Uncategorized
Nearly 500 people converged on Skaneateles High School Tuesday Feb. 16 to learn more about green cleaning, new technologies and spend time checking out the latest in custodial services.
The event, the 14th Annual Superintendents of Buildings & Grounds Association Mid-State Chapter Trade Show, was “wonderful,” said Skaneateles Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds Vincent Sicignano.
“It’s our 14th year doing this and every year we try to add something new that will attract more attendees,” he said.
This year, all 27 districts in the Mid-State Chapter were represented along with four districts in Oswego County and four from Cayuga County.
As the trade show grows more each year, the SBGA is able to do more to give back to its members. This year, the association was able to give out cloth bags with the SBGA logo and nametags for every individual who registered.
Marie McDonough, account manager with Linstar and a Skaneateles resident, said the company has been attending the trade show for a couple of years, but this year offered to create name tags for the attendees. Each tag had the name of the attendee and a hole was stamped in it so it could be worn around the person’s neck with a lanyard.
According to McDonough, the company, which is based in Buffalo, does a lot of work with law enforcement and holds contracts with New York state, including the Department of Criminal Justice where the company created Operation SAFE CHILD.
Operation SAFE CHILD was launched in 2005 to promote child safety and aid in the safe return of missing children when used in conjunction with the Amber Alert system.
Linstar also provides such things for companies as video surveillance and recording systems, digital photo identification systems and building access control and keyless entry systems.
Around noon, business manager for the United Association Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 267 Greg Lancette was having a name badge printed and stamped by McDonough. Lancette said the reason he was attending this year’s trade show was to highlight some of the skill sets from the five-year apprenticeship program through the union. It was the first year he had attended the event and also the first year the plumbers and steamfitters union had signed up to be a vendor.
While they typically pursue career fairs and work hand-in-hand with mechanical engineers, Lancette was pleased with the show and having the opportunity to attend as plumbers and steamfitters have been involved with building and renovating schools.
In terms of custodial services, Sicignano said there were some vendors with innovative ideas and ways to clean “greener.”
“This year we had some new vendors that actually had some new ideas that excited us. Hill & Markes demonstrated a machine that electrically charges water so it becomes a cleaning agent. No chemicals, just clean water in, and dirty water out. This is the future as we try to get ‘greener,'” he said.
Greener ways to clean were abundant on the trade show floor. Scott Walker, a regional business manager with Filmop, a manufacturer out of Italy, was on the floor demonstrating the latest in microfiber technology.
Walker said microfiber is unique in that the blended mix of fabrics gathers soil and retrieves dirt, leaving a clean surface. Filmop has seen customers have a five- to 10-fold return on investment through hidden cost savings.
The process uses less water, less cleaning agent and, because of the way the mop and bucket works, there are fewer worker’s compensation complaints regarding back pain.
The mop bucket is designed so clean and dirty water are separate so as not to contaminate clean surfaces with grimy water.
This year’s show was the first time Filmop was in attendance.
Green cleaning even went a step further this year, and fully pleased Sicignano when a demonstration in floor polishing left a portion of the hallway gleaming.
“Boylan Tile and Marble have a process that highly polishes stone and terrazzo floors. They are so highly polished that they don’t need wax or sealers,” he said. “Boylan was able to come in a day early and polish a section of floor in the corridor we were holding our workshops. It is a very dramatic difference and by using no sealers or waxes, is certainly a “green” procedure.”
Sicignano added that Skaneateles school has beautiful terrazzo floors, which is what the demonstration was done on.
“I didn’t believe they could look better until I saw what they did,” he said.
While everyone who attended the trade show likely left with a wish list of new products and equipment, Sicignano said his favorite items were definitely the electrically charged water and the terrazzo polishing.
“[They] really hooked me. Anything that will save us time and money that is also a green technology jumps right to the top of the list,” he said. “The nice part of this event is that our workers were able to see the equipment and new technologies so they buy in and actually want to use or at least try new things.”
The annual event is the only opportunity for facilities directors to provide high quality training for maintenance, custodial and grounds workers. But aside from that, it has also become a great day away from their daily tasks.
“It has also become a great day away from the job and a chance for our workers to network with each other, commiserate, swap horror stories, complain about their bosses and compare lousy jobs. It’s really all good,” Sicignano said.
This year’s theme, 50s and 60s Rock n’ Roll, completed the day with live music during a two-hour lunch period where attendees were able to check out what was on the trade show floor and grab a bite to eat. Food was prepared for the crew of more than 500 by the Skaenateles Food Service Department.
Sicignano said he wouldn’t be surprised if the event, which is growing by leaps and bounds in popularity, reaches 600 attendees next year.