To address the needs of cleaning professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kimberly-Clark Professional, a hygiene and cleaning solution manufacturing company, has announced a new scholarship programme to help smaller cleaning organisations provide critical training on infectious disease prevention and control measures for their employees. The programme is in collaboration with ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, and the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA.

“Cleaning professionals are working tirelessly behind the scenes to help other essential businesses run safely,” said Susan Gambardella, President, Kimberly-Clark Professional North America. “They’re heroes on the front lines, putting their own health and safety at risk. So, whilst they’re looking out for others, we want to ensure someone is looking out for them. This scholarship programme 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. More information about the course can be found here.

Through Kimberly-Clark Professional’s US$500k/£405k 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 programme.

In addition, the programme has a goal of 50% of scholarships going to females and will support a mentorship programme 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 programme, 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,” said 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.”

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