"Cleaning professionals are working tirelessly behind the scenes to help other essential businesses run safely," says Susan Gambardella, president, Kimberly-Clark Professional North America. "They're heroes on the front lines, putting their own health and safety at risk. So, while they're looking out for others, we want to ensure someone is looking out for them. This scholarship program is about providing access for these essential heroes – especially those who may not have otherwise had the opportunity to get this training – to gain the knowledge they need to work safely and confidently."
The GBAC Fundamentals Online Course is focused on prevention, response and control measures for biohazards in the workplace – with a special emphasis on infection and contamination control measures for infectious disease outbreak situations such as SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19.
Through Kimberly-Clark Professional's $500,000 donation, more than 10,000 cleaning professionals across the globe will be able to complete the GBAC Fundamentals online course at no cost. Smaller businesses, who may not have otherwise been able to fund this training for their employees, are given priority placement into the program.
In addition, the program has a goal of 50% of scholarships going to females and will support a mentorship program in partnership with the ISSA Hygieia Network, the first women's network for the global cleaning community dedicated to the advancement of women in the cleaning industry. As part of the scholarship program, recipients can sign up to be mentored by volunteers from Kimberly-Clark Professional.
"We are beyond thankful to Kimberly-Clark Professional for this generous donation and its dedication to supporting women and cleaning professionals," says Meredith Reuben, chairwoman of ISSA Hygieia Network. "We aim to help all women in the cleaning industry accelerate their careers and achieve their full potential, and with half of these scholarships reaching women, especially those on the front lines of cleaning for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), it will certainly make an incredible impact."