For over 60 years, Challenge Unlimited, a national nonprofit headquartered in Alton, IL, has secured employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, the disadvantaged and veterans so they may achieve their highest level of independence. In 2018, the Challenge Unlimited registered a janitorial apprenticeship program for all abilities with the U.S. Department of Labor, through the USDOL Office of Apprenticeship in St. Louis, Missouri. The agency is delighted to announce that Mr. Bryan Terrell, an apprentice from Challenge’s inaugural apprenticeship class, is the first apprentice to successfully graduate from the program!
As an apprentice in Challenge Unlimited’s DOL-registered Janitorial Apprenticeship Program, Mr. Terrell received over 1000 hours of hands-on professional development and training in the janitorial field. He fulfilled his apprenticeship responsibilities while working at the Missouri 22nd Judicial Courts in downtown St. Louis, where Challenge Unlimited currently holds a janitorial contract that employs over 30 individuals. During the apprenticeship, Mr. Terrell achieved training certifications through both the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) training program and the Department of Labor Apprenticeship Certification Program.
Tony Crawley, Executive Vice President of Operations, has expressed a positive outlook in offering individuals the additional skills, training and opportunities that will advance their careers and increase participation in their communities.
“This groundbreaking apprenticeship program will impact hundreds of individuals in our region. We are so proud of our team for this amazing accomplishment,” said Crawley. “This apprenticeship program provides education and training opportunities to create a more defined career path for all abilities. With support from our local partners, we are working together to build a well-trained workforce that meets the needs of the janitorial industry.”
Challenge Unlimited’s future Apprenticeship Program plans include rolling out the program to its other contract sites. The agency currently operates multiple large-scale janitorial contracts across 5 states.
“People living with disabilities, both seen and unseen, are able and eager to join the workforce in a multitude of capacities,” said Challenge Unlimited President and CEO, Charlotte Hammond “It is a privilege to continue our mission to forge a pathway to meaningful work for all abilities.”