WARREN, PA – Wednesday, September 27 – During their recent public meeting the Warren County Board of Commissioners entered into an agreement with Bollinger Enterprises Inc. (BEi) to provide cleaning services and integrate persons with disabilities into the workforce at county facilities. BEi provides vocational, life, and social opportunities for persons with disabilities with a focus on independence at work, at home and at play.
“As you know, Governor Wolf has pushed for Pennsylvania to be an ‘Employment First’ state,” stated BEi Executive Director, Dr. Bill Clark, “and is encouraging companies to employ individuals with disabilities as a part of that initiative. It is nice to see that the County is moving in that direction.”
During a bid process for cleaning services earlier in the year, BEi was competitive, which prompted the Commissioners to take a closer look at BEi as a partner going forward. It was determined that a hybrid plan would be appropriate, to meet BEi’s federal and state regulations increasing integration of persons with disabilities into the workforce. That plan involves light cleaning and garbage removal during the day, so that BEi consumers will have opportunities to work alongside staff in the courthouse, and heavy cleaning to happen after hours.
“I think this is a very exciting opportunity,” said Commissioner Eggleston, “for BEi’s consumers and staff to integrate themselves into County Government and take a more active role in supporting services to the Community.”
Dr. Clark continued, “What we want to do is have our Individuals here during the day, to interact with their chronological aged peers. To have them work totally at night would not meet the intent of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.”
Commissioner Eggleston concluded, “I would like to thank the County Directors who have been incredibly supportive of this effort, including the Courts and the District Attorney’s office. I’ve been impressed with their willingness to support and participate in this initiative.”
The agreement will take effect at the end of November, at which time BEi will be completely responsible for the general cleaning of County facilities. The County is now looking into other services, including document scanning, with which to partner with BEi to help support their mission.