LER Student Project with UIUC Facilities and Services
To combat the loss of a number of internships this summer, LER worked with employers to source projects to be completed for independent study credit. Fortunately, we had a “test drive” of a project during spring semester to learn about how to set up and manage projects like this with teams of students.
The UIUC Facilities and Services sponsored a project to study recruitment, onboarding and retention of their Building Service Worker population. This is a union population that keeps campus facilities maintained and cleaned. The students worked to find a path to create improvements in the job fair and interview process, to improve administrative processes within the onboarding and training stages, to increase retention of night-shift employees through engagement strategies, and to implement an exit survey for F&S to obtain turnover data.
The final product was delivered to Pete Varney, interim Director of Operations and Maintenance for F&S. He reports that he was very pleased with the outcome and said that “the modifications to the training process are something we are planning to implement and evaluate. Improving the engagement of the ‘deep night’ shift is also something that will become even more critical as we look to increase numbers on ‘deep nights’ to meet the new cleaning criteria required by the CDC in response to COVID.”
We were pleased with the success of this pilot, and grateful for the timing since our summer projects became so integral to the success of our student population. If you are interested in investigating future participation in a project for your organization, you can learn more at https://ler.illinois.edu/employers/partnership-opportunities/student-projects/. To see the companies that participated in summer 2020 projects, visit https://blogs.illinois.edu/view/6232/809078.