Celebrate Staff During 'International Housekeepers Week'

Recognition takes place Sept. 9 to 15

Wesley Laws, a utility worker for Housekeeping, is one of hundreds of Duke employees who work in the department. This week marks International Housekeepers Week. Photo by Bryan Roth.

While they may spend their time behind the scenes, this week offers a chance to recognize the hard work of housekeeping staff across Duke.

International Housekeepers Week runs Sept. 9 to 15 and represents a time to focus attention and recognition on professional housekeepers who maintain a clean, safe and healthy environment while working in facilities across Duke's Health System, academic campuses and other locations. At Duke, there are about 360 university housekeeping staff that care for offices, dorms and more.

"During this week, I hope the campus community takes a moment to show their appreciation to the housekeepers that service their facilities," said Albert Scott, senior director of Grounds, Housekeeping and Sanitation with Facilities Management. "A little appreciation goes a long way, especially when ones work is so important and affects everyone."

As part of the weeklong celebration, Facilities Management will host a hot dog and hamburger social for housekeepers on Sept. 14. Jill Tomlinson, associate dean of finance and administration for the Fuqua School of Business, said that she's planning some events as well.

In addition to a special luncheon for about 20 Fuqua housekeeping staff, Fuqua will also give away prizes during activities like a housekeeping trivia contest and a "what's wrong with this room" detail-oriented game, Tomlinson said. She said it's a small token of appreciation for keeping Fuqua well-kept, an indicator of Duke's competence and professionalism.

"Having world class facilities is one of the Fuqua School's competitive advantages, and University Housekeeping is a very important partner in maintaining that atmosphere on a day to day basis," Tomlinson said. "It's really important that we acknowledge the role of housekeepers in providing a positive first impression of our facilities to visitors."