Drain Cleaning: How to Recruit and Retain Workers
The latest and greatest drain-cleaning units will not be of much use without qualified and experienced technicians to use them. The department has had some success recruiting workers for plumbing and drain-cleaning activities — both from inside the organization and from outside sources — in part because of an apprenticeship program.
"We've been able to hire journeymen mechanics, in some cases," Hunter says.
Many maintenance and engineering departments continue to have a hard time finding and keeping qualified workers, and the hospital is no exception. Hunter says the department has some recruiting and hiring challenges because of its urban location.
"People don't want to come into the city because of traffic and parking," he says. "Nobody wants the commute, but nobody ever leaves."
Among the reasons he says the department has been able to retain workers are the inside nature of the work — "You're not working outside in the elements all day," he says — as well as the competitive pay.
The task of keeping the hospital's drains and pipes clean does not get easier for Hunter and his staff. The organization is adding 1.5 million square feet of new space in November 2011, and Hunter says the department will add equipment to meet the expanded demands of the plumbing systems and drains in the new space.