2021 Year In Review:
Helping the Cleaning Industry Find the New Normal
2021 was a roller coaster ride that brought highs and lows due to the pandemic. The availability of COVID-19 vaccines brought hope, while the reemergence of mask mandates and multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants felt like two steps backward after one step forward. Through it all, ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, stayed knowledgeable on all the pandemic health concerns and demands, continued to advocate on Capitol Hill for the cleaning industry, and focused on developing content, education, and events to address the ever-changing climate and assist the industry in finding its way to a new normal.
Here is a look back at how each ISSA department and division successfully implemented new member benefits, video content, in-person events, education, and much more to ensure cleaning professionals had all the knowledge and resources they needed to continue to protect public health and safety.
Global Biorisk Advisory Council™ (GBAC)
The momentum continued for GBAC in 2021 with 42 service providers earning accreditation, seven destinations committing to GBAC STAR™, and six manufacturers achieving the GBAC STAR™ Registered Seal for their technologies and programs. Additionally, 980 facilities earned GBAC STAR™ Facility Accreditation for the first time.
Providing access to education is essential for the industry to grow and evolve. In 2021, ISSA published an updated edition of the official ISSA Cleaning Times and Tasks book which sold nearly 3,000 copies! This popular publication is a collaborative effort with ISSA members, and the revised version contains new sections on pandemic cleaning times, new technology times, cleaning times by industry segment, and a new vocabulary section.
The increased spotlight on the cleaning industry since 2020 has brought greater visibility and interest from policymakers and regulators. The voice of the cleaning industry is now actively being sought and listened to by Congress, governors, regulators, and even the White House. The industry’s voice has never been stronger.
Like much of the world, Canada faced multiple lockdowns and travel restrictions in 2021, ISSA Canada continued to support its members by channeling all virtual educational opportunities and COVID-related information to the masses.
ISSA Charities is composed of three signature programs: Cleaning for a Reason®, which partners with residential cleaning companies to provide free home cleanings for cancer patients; ISSA Hygieia Network, which provides the tools and resources for women in the cleaning industry to advance their careers; and ISSA Scholars, which provides scholarships to help relieve the burden of tuition for students and their families.
In 2021, three ISSA Divisions—the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI), the Indoor Environmental Healthcare and Hospitality Association (IEHA), and the Independent Office Products and Furniture Dealers Association (IOPFDA)—all focused on providing the best possible education and resources for their members. Take a look at what each division did to improve their member experiences.
There was hope as we entered 2021 to get back to ‘normal,’ but the threat of the coronavirus continued to impact the industry as variants (Delta, Omicron) were top news topics. All ISSA Media properties, including ISSA Today, Cleanfax, and Cleaning & Maintenance Management, continued coverage of the pandemic in addition to high-level topics related to all aspects of facility management, maintenance, and verticals represented within the ISSA global community.
ISSA made meaningful updates in 2021 to support the needs of the association’s more than 10,500 members in 105+ countries worldwide. For example, we added a Payment Processing Program within our Member Discount Programs to offer members a simple, secure, and affordable payment solution.
ISSA North America
After two years without an in-person trade show, 2021 marked the year that the industry was able to come together again to celebrate progress and learn about the trends shaping the future. ISSA Show North America 2021, the premier event for education, networking, and product discovery, brought more than 10,000 industry professionals to the convention capital of the world: Las Vegas.