Foundation of cleanliness and conservation
By Fabiula Blum*
Certainly the world’s most impressive training school for cleaners, Fundação do asseio e conservação do estado do Parana (FACOP) is a non-profit organisation focused on the education and qualification of cleaning workers.
Located in Brazil’s green city of Curitiba, capital of Parana state, the organisation covers 13,000 sq m and contains educational ‘laboratories’, classrooms, a multi-functional auditorium, library and administrative area.
FACOP’s vision is to be recognised as the best professional cleaning and maintenance education facility in the Americas. Visitors from all parts of the world, and notably Europe, confirm it is the best in the world.
FACOP offers an array of general and specialist courses including cleaning and maintenance; façade cleaning; event cleaning; and green area maintenance. Healthcare sites and floorcare treatment are among the niche courses.
e-learning is also part of FACOP’s impressive services repertoire. At www.facopeducaional.org.br courses are conducted through video lectures and theoretical practices. Complementary material is delivered through slides and booklet digital files on the platform. Students are assessed through on-line questions and answers.
Created by employers and union
FACOP was established in 2002 by the industry employers’ association and trade union – Sindicato das Empresas de Asseio e Conservação do Estado do Paraná (SEAC-PR) and Sindicato dos Empregados das Empresas de Asseio e Conservação de Curitiba (SIEMACO Curitiba).
It is headed by entrepreneur Adonai Aires de Arruda (SEAC-PR) and vice president Manassés Oliveira, who also leads the Federação dos Empregados em Empresas de Asseio e Conservação do Estado do Paraná (FEACONSPAR).
Paraná currently has about 50,000 workers employed by cleaning and maintenance companies in positions including elevator operator, office clerk, loading-dock worker, garbage collector, doorman, restaurant attendant, janitor, parking attendant, gardener, washer, forklift operator, grass cutter operator, receptionist, helper, supervisor, telephone operator, and cook.
Hospital Cleaning Laboratory
FACOP is the only such facility is Brazil geared to the cleaning and maintenance industry. About 40 free courses are offered every month. Several different environments built on the site are used as laboratories for face-to-face training instruction.
One of them is the Hospital Cleaning laboratory, where students are trained to clean, sanitise and disinfect hospitals, clinics, laboratories, ICUs and similar environments.
There are also computer and floor cleaning labs, eight classrooms, a library and a 100-seat auditorium. Hands-on classes for professionals working in confined spaces and high altitude sites are also taught in different areas the centre’s grounds.
The property also encompasses a botanical garden covering more than 7,000 sq m, named Jardim Botânico Alex Canziani. It serves as a laboratory for gardening, landscaping, green cleaning, and sustainability. The area is open to the public.
Students enrolled in the FACOP face-to-face courses have other incentives to complete their training. In addition to free enrolment, teaching materials and tuition, FACOP also provides free transportation to and from downtown Curitiba. Since most training take place on Saturdays, from 8.30 am to 5 pm, subsidised meals are provided at the Foundation cafeteria. After completing the program, students still unemployed are referred to a company operating in this industry, with the support of the FACOP Joint HR (human resources).
Floor cleaning laboratory
The different types of floors and chemicals used to clean, maintain and treat them require professionals working in this area to have an increasingly wider knowledge. For that reason, FACOP built an area where such differences are shown in practice.
Equipped with computers, internet access and printer, the FACOP computer lab is used to teach both cleaning and maintenance workers and people from the community at large. Youngsters, children and professionals alike benefit, for they are offered digital inclusion and a good level of employability.
Open to the community, the FACOP library offers books on cleaning and conservation, marketing, business administration, novels, and other subjects. The collection was amassed from donations.
Created in January 2012, the Joint HR was designed to provide trained workers with job openings in the cleaning and maintenance industry. Workers assisted by the Joint HR are provided initial eight-hour training on ‘Capacity Building’. The aim is to prepare applicants to perform activities of the envisaged job.
This training is required for enrolment in the training programs offered by FACOP.
*Fabiula Blum is the principal of Alléttera Comunicação Empresarial, www.allettera.com.br