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Saving for Retirement Just Got Easier

Arnold Ventures (February 19, 2019) - Lorenzo Harris always knew that offering a retirement program would help him attract and retain the best workers for his janitorial services company. It just wasn't feasible for his small business - until he encountered CalSavers, a new worker-savings system launching in the Golden State.

"I'm a businessman. I'm very leery of government. But wow, I'm very impressed with CalSavers," said Harris, who founded his 45-employee company in 1985. "I was just amazed that a government mandate of this nature would actually benefit our company."

Harris' company, Janico Building Services, was the first employer to join the state-sponsored retirement program. His employees started payroll deductions in January, and since then, CalSavers has shown even skeptical taxpayers like Harris how public policy can be used as a tool to level the playing field and promote economic opportunity.

"This will allow us to attract employees better, and we can better retain them with a retirement plan," Harris said.

CalSavers is what's known as an "auto-IRA," a retirement program that makes savings the default option for employees. Here's how it works: Over the next three years, in phases determined by the size of the company, mandated employers will be required to register and allow their employees to enroll in the CalSavers. Workers who join will have 5 percent of their pay diverted to an individual account. The deduction will gradually increase, topping out at 8 percent, though workers can always change the amount or leave the program at any time.

By the middle of 2019, self-employed people and any other individual will be able to sign up, and by 2022, all businesses with five or more employees will enroll as California seeks to get all workers access to a retirement account.

The scope of the problem legislators are seeking to solve is as immense as the goal: 7.5 million California employees work for a business that does not offer a retirement plan. Many of the people who don't have access to an account through their employer are hourly wage employees, work part time, or frequently change jobs. Women and people of color are most likely to lack savings for the future.

"The big thrust of this is, let's get people access, and let's get them access that they can trust," said Matthew Cook, who oversees retirement and other financial policy grants for Arnold Ventures. "You're lowering the barrier to entry, and you're establishing savings as the norm."

The idea for CalSavers relies on a basic principle in behavioral economics. If workers are automatically enrolled and would have to opt-out rather than opt-in, they are much more likely to participate. That "set it and forget it" option, along with the power of compound interest over many years, could help low-income workers build wealth for the first time, Cook said.

According to AARP, people are 15 times more likely to save if they have a workplace account and 20 times more likely to do so if they're automatically enrolled in it. If auto-IRAs help boost savings in the U.S., it would be an important step toward ensuring people who work hard during their careers are able to retire with dignity and financial security - a key policy priority for Arnold Ventures.

"It's not just California," Cook said. "Roughly a third of U.S. workers do not have any retirement savings, which could pose a big problem for governments in the next couple of decades."

The potential upside of CalSavers is high, both for small-business owners like Harris looking to compete with larger competitors and for workers. So Arnold Ventures provided $1.1 million to two nonprofit organizations, the United Ways of California and Small Business Majority, to create an outreach plan to entice Californians to sign up sooner rather than later.

Legislators in other states are watching the rollout because the CalSavers program has bipartisan appeal and includes protections for Californians and savers. Administrative costs will be covered by small fees on participant contributions, so the program won't cost taxpayers anything, while professional financial services companies Ascensus and State Street Global Advisors will administer the program and manage investments.

The first $1,000 people contribute will go to money market accounts, unless participants direct their investments otherwise. Subsequent contributions will default into a target date fund based on the participant's age. Savers can also choose other investment funds, including a bond fund and an equity fund.

Supporters point to two other features vital for low-income workers: portability and flexibility. Workers maintain their accounts when they change jobs, so they won't face fees or tax burdens to keep their nest eggs growing. That's critical for people who might have several employers or work in the "gig" economy.

But to get low-income workers to buy into the program, organizers must focus on building trust with a population that may have been burned by unscrupulous financial businesses in the past, said Peter Manzo, president and chief executive officer of United Ways of California.

"Their family members may have had run-ins with payday lenders or they may be very distrustful of the financial industry overall, no doubt, and we're going to have to answer their concerns," he said.

Harris can relate. Even though the cost and administrative burden put employee retirement plans out of reach for him and other small-business owners, the start of a state-run initiative also brought the dread of paperwork and red tape.

Mark Herbert, California Director of Small Business Majority, said the process has been so smooth, business owners have mostly been concerned that the program is "too good to be true."

Told it would take about 30 minutes to enroll, business owners have "rolled their eyes and cleared the day on their schedule," Herbert said. "But it was done in 20 minutes, and they were shocked."

With CalSavers up and running, the next challenge for Manzo and Herbert will be to spread the word and continue to build on the program's early success.

"It's huge, and what's going on in California, Oregon, Illinois can be a model for other states," Herbert said.

Employee of the Year: DeAundre Faby

NORTH HIGHLANDS, CA (February 11, 2019) - Janico Building Services recently announced that DeAundre Faby has been named the company's Employee of the Year for 2018.

DeAundre was hired on December 23, 2016 and currently serves as a part-time janitor at Amtrak facilities in Martinez and Richmond. He also assists the company's Project Team on ocassion. DeAundre has proven to be a reliable worker and team player who is willing to help wherever there is a need. He takes pride in his work and consistently produces quality cleaning becoming the top points earner in the company's Rewards Program.

"I worked very hard for this award," said DeAundre with a smile upon receiving his plaque at the company's Oakland office. Yolanda Harris is Janico's Director of Operations. "DeAundre was especially focused on the company's goals of consistent quality and dependability," said Harris. "He is a vocal advocate of the company referring numerous job applicants who were subsequently hired. We are very pleased to have DeAundre on our staff."

The Janico Rewards Program is designed to award points to employees for their efforts and loyalty to the company with the primary focus of the program being to recognize exceptional performance. Points are redeemed for gift cards from every major retailer in the United States, Amazon, restaurants, travel and even cash. Total rewards redeemed in 2018 by Janico employees were valued at over $12,000. The top three points earners for the year are eligible for consideration as Employee of the Year.

Sacramento Company First to Enroll In Calsavers

Capital Public Radio (November 29, 2018) - California is launching a program for workers whose employers don't offer retirement plans - and the first business in the state to sign up is from Sacramento.

Lorenzo Harris and his wife own a janitorial services business in North Highlands. He says his company lacks the resources to offer its 45 workers a way to save for retirement, so when he learned about CalSavers - the state's new savings program for life after work - he thought it might help recruit and retain talent.

"This is kind of unusual for us, I have to say," Harris said on Tuesday during an event at City Hall. "We don't normally support a government mandate." But he said CalSavers is unique and benefits both his company and workers.

Signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2016, the CalSavers program would require any California company with five or more workers to either offer a private retirement plan or sign up for the state's independent-retirement account, or IRA. Employees would be automatically enrolled, but they'd have the right to opt out.

At the event on Tuesday, Treasurer John Chiang said it could help millions of employees in the state plan for life after work. "CalSavers will help facilitate the most sweeping and ambitious expansion of our retirement savings system since Social Security in 1935," he said.

CalSavers is in a "pilot" phase now, although employers can sign up anytime. It will officially launch in July of next year, and mandatory deadlines for companies to register are staggered through 2022. The treasurer estimates it will impact nearly 200,000 California small businesses.

"Today is a new opportunity for 7.5 million hard-working Californians who for too long have been overlooked by Wall Street when it comes to enabling them to save for their own retirements," said Yvonne Walker, a Sacramento-based union leader with the SEIU 1000 chapter and a CalSavers board member.

Proponents estimate that a 25 year old who starts putting money into the state IRA today could save up $350,000 by age 65, but did not specify a level of contribution to achieve this goal. The program was kickstarted with funding from the state and will operate on enrollee fees.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg spoke at the event and said that 5,800 employers would be eligible to participate in the program in Sacramento County. "That's 110,000 workers who currently are not being offered easy access to retirement savings accounts today," the mayor said. "Without this program, many of these people will wind up subsisting - totally on small social security checks," which he says provide approximately $1,400 a month.

In the county, the largest sector of eligible workers are in the food and hospitality industry, with nearly 35,000 employees.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association filed a lawsuit against CalSavers and Chiang earlier this year. It argues that the state cannot require companies to enroll workers, because federal law prohibits involuntary participation in these programs.

The U.S. government had paved the way for programs such as CalSavers years ago under the Obama administration, when the Department of Labor ruled state-run IRAs were exempt from federal restrictions if they met certain criteria. But the Trump administration overturned that rule in 2017.

California is the third state in the nation to implement an automatic IRA retirement-savings program, joining Oregon and Illinois.

JBS Supports CalSavers

NORTH HIGHLANDS, CA (August 17, 2018) - The CalSavers Retirement Savings Program will officially open for statewide enrollment in 2019. The Program will ensure all Janico employees have access to a workplace retirement savings plan. CalSavers offers a completely voluntary, low cost, portable retirement savings vehicle with professionally managed investments and oversight from a public, transparent board of directors. With this new employee benefit, Janico is fully committed to the welfare and retirement goals of our employees.

Janico Achieves CIBBP Certification

NORTH HIGHLANDS, CA (March 8, 2018) - Janico Building Services, a family-owned commercial cleaning company, today announced it has earned National Building Service Contractor's Group (NBSCG) Cleaning Industry Best Business Practices (CIBBP) Certification. To achieve Certification, company's must demonstrate core operational proficiencies; Quality Systems, Service Delivery, Human Resources; Safety and Health, Management Commitment and Green Building.

The company's compliance with the NBSCG-developed Standard demonstrates its commitment to delivering consistent, high-quality and professional service to its customers.

"This Certification assures that we have the systems and processes in place to exceed our customers' expectations," said Lorenzo Harris, President of Janico. "One of the major tenets of the Standard is continuous improvement. With that always in mind, the CIBBP Certification process has strengthened our company and our customer partnerships," added Harris.

The CIBBP Certification also highlights the company's commitment to providing environmentally preferable cleaning practices and recognizes its ability to assist its customers in complying with the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

NBSCG is a national association of local and regional building service contractors located in the lower 48 states. Members must either be CIBBP Certified through NBSC Group or Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) Certified through International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA). Being an NBSC Group member gives current and prospective clients the confidence that they have a partner that exemplifies professionalism and best practices in the commercial cleaning industry.

Zamora is 2017 Employee of the Year

NORTH HIGHLANDS, CA (February 6, 2018) - Janico is pleased to announce that Christina Zamora has been recognized as the company's Employee of the Year for 2017.

Christina rejoined the company in May 2017 after a 7-month absence. She serves as a part-time janitor at the County of Sacramento Women Infants and Children (WIC) office in Del Paso Heights and Highlands Eighty Commerce Center in North Highlands. Christina quickly rose up the company's Rewards Points leader board due to the consistent quality of her work, willingness to fill additional shifts and dependability. She finished the year with 82,400 Rewards Points in only eight months of service.

"Christina is a great employee, who is dedicated to her job," said Area Supervisor Teresa Labuguen. "When I ask her to help cover shifts, she is always there. Christina takes pride in her work, reports for her shift on time, and is always full of energy ready to work. It's a great pleasure to have Christina as part of my team."

As the Employee of the Year, Christina received a plaque and an additional 50,000 points to be redeemed for merchandise. She is to be congratulated on this huge accomplishment.

The Janico Rewards Program is designed to reward employee efforts and loyalty to the company with the primary focus of the program being to recognize exceptional performance. Points are awarded for such achievements as filling in as relief at a different job site, perfect attendance, employee referrals, customer satisfaction and 80+ inspection scores. The employee with the most total points earned is recognized as the Employee of the Year.

JBS Earns Back to Back Image Awards

BSCAI CLEAN Awards Winners (December 19, 2017) - Janico Building Services has been awarded the Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI) 2016 Image Award for the second consecutive year. The company also won the award in 2015, which represents Janico's excellence in enhancing the image of the company and the building services contractor industry, recognized as the best in class by it's industry association.

"Janico is honored to receive this award for the second consecutive year," said company founder and President Lorenzo Harris. "In a competitive Northern California market, we pride ourselves in projecting a professional image both in behalf of our company and the building service contractor industry."

BSCAI represents a worldwide network of more than 1,000 member companies from across the United States and 15 countries worldwide that provide cleaning, facility maintenance, security, landscaping and other related services to building owners and managers.

JBS Named to Business Journal's 2017 Book of Lists

NORTH HIGHLANDS, CA (August 1, 2017) - Lorenzo Harris, President of Janico Building Services, has announced that the firm was ranked in the Sacramento Business Journal's annual 2017 Book of Lists for Largest Minority-Owned Businesses. The Sacramento Business Journal ranked the companies based on 2016 revenue.

"We are excited to be ranked in the 2017 Sacramento Business Journal's Book of Lists," said Harris. "Janico's mission is to be the firm of choice in the region for commercial janitorial services."

Janico Building Services is a full-service building service contractor serving Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. Established in 1985 by President Lorenzo Harris, Janico provides janitorial, floor care, window cleaning and maintenance services for commercial property managers and building owners.

Janico Employees to Benefit from Retirement Savings

SecureChoice AARP (March 19, 2017) - Once California's Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program is open for enrollment, employers with 5 or more employees who do not offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan will be required to provide their employees with access to the Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program. The employer mandate will be phased-in gradually over a three-year period, depending on the size of the business, allowing all businesses to successfully adapt to the changes implemented under SB 1234.

Lorenzo Harris, President of Janico Building Services, a commercial janitorial service provider in North Highlands said his employees stand to benefit from the new law. "We know firsthand that many small business owners want to offer retirement benefits, but aren't able to due to cost, business size, and lack of HR/administrative staff to oversee the plans," said Harris.

"The California Secure Choice program will make it easier for small business owners to offer this benefit to their employees, which puts small employers on an even playing field with larger businesses that can typically afford to offer retirement benefits. Additionally, this will help small businesses attract and retain talented employees, as research shows potential employees are drawn to places of employment that offer retirement benefits."

Information will continue to be updated as the Secure Choice Retirement Savings and Investment Board finalizes program details.

Barrera is 2016 Employee of the Year

NORTH HIGHLANDS, CA (February 9, 2017) - Janico Building Services is pleased to announce that Jose Barrera has been recognized as the company's Employee of the Year for 2016.

Jose has been with the company since July 2012 and serves as the full-time lead janitor at the County of Sacramento Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) building located in South Sacramento. He also assists the company's Project Team from time to time. Jose has proven to be a reliable worker and team player who is willing to help wherever there is a need. He often receives praise from management and clients alike for his positive attitude and quality of work. Hence, Jose was the top points earner in the company's Rewards Program, earning 65,500 points for the year.

As the Employee of the Year, Barrera received a plaque and an additional 50,000 points to be redeemed for merchandise. Please join us in congratulating Jose on his huge accomplishment.

The Janico Rewards Program is designed to reward employee efforts and loyalty to the company with the primary focus of the program being to recognize exceptional performance. Points are awarded for such achievements as filling in as relief at a different job site, perfect attendance, employee referrals, customer satisfaction and 80+ inspection scores. The employee with the most total points earned is recognized as the Employee of the Year.

JBS Wins BSCAI Image Award

BSCAI CLEAN Awards Winners (November 1, 2016) - Lorenzo Harris, President of Janico Building Services, a full service commercial contract cleaning company, announced the company has been awarded the Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI) 2015 Image Award for the mid-size company category. This award represents Janico's excellence in enhancing the image of the company and the building services contractor industry, recognized as the best in class by it's industry association.

"Janico is honored to receive this award, which affirms that our marketing efforts are in line with best practices of our industry," said Harris.

BSCAI represents a worldwide network of more than 1,000 member companies from across the United States and 15 countries worldwide that provide cleaning, facility maintenance, security, landscaping and other related services to building owners and managers.

Janico Assists Women Battling Cancer

Cleaning For A Reason (February 12, 2016) - Janico Building Services, a commercial building service contractor, has teamed up with Cleaning For A Reason, an international nonprofit foundation. Janico is dedicated to excellence and customer satisfaction. For more than 30 years, the company has built a reputation for delivering quality and cost-effective service that allows its clients to focus on their core businesses.

"Janico has always been aware of its responsibility to our community and cancer awareness," said owner Lorenzo Harris. "In partnering with Cleaning For A Reason, Janico has added residential cleaning for cancer patients to its services. Battling cancer is hard enough. These women need to focus on their health and family, not on cleaning their homes. We want to have a positive impact on the lives of those that need assistance. Janico is very excited about the opportunity to make a difference in our community."

Janico Building Services has agreed to help women battling cancer by cleaning at least two homes per month for four consecutive months at no charge. The only requirement is that the homes be within the company's existing service areas of Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information about this company, go to www.janicoservices.com.

Cleaning For A Reason strives to aid women who are battling cancer by teaming up with professional cleaning companies across the United States and Canada. Together, these two forces offer free house cleaning to meet the needs of women, and since 2006, have donated more than $5.5 million in free services, helping more than 20,000 women with cancer. Based in Lewisville, TX, Cleaning For A Reason works with more than 1,200 professional cleaning companies and continues to grow and gain support. To learn more about Cleaning For A Reason and to apply for free house cleaning, see www.cleaningforareason.org.

Cleaning Contractor Calls for Immigration Reform

Small Business Majority (August 22, 2014) - Lorenzo Harris makes a living sweeping away the dirt. But he certainly is not swept away by the state of our nation's current immigration system. As the CEO and principal of Janico Building Services, a full-service building maintenance and cleaning contractor with 40 employees in Sacramento, Harris understands first-hand how undocumented immigrants affect the cleaning industry, particularly when it comes to the hiring process.

"The hiring of undocumented workers has become widespread in our industry," he said, noting that many are often paid "under the table" and less than minimum wage in order for the company "to gain an unfair competitive advantage."

Witnessing the mistreatment of many immigrant workers in his line of business has inspired Harris to rectify these misdeeds at his own company. Janico Building Services employs workers who are immigrants from all over the world, including Mexico, Puerto Rico, Russia and Asia, and pays all of its workers fair wages.

"[They] are often the hardest working and most loyal employees, many with family members who can't get decent jobs," he said. "College admission becomes problematic too because of their immigration status."

Harris notes that American born citizens are much less likely to pursue employment in cleaning industry jobs, which enables many cleaning service companies to target undocumented workers for employment they desperately look for, and pay them meager wages. This creates an unfair playing field that hurts other small employers like Harris who play by the rules and pay their workers fairly.

Because his industry attracts many undocumented workers, Harris understands from a small business perspective the need for immigration reform that allows these workers better access to jobs and a path toward citizenship.

In fact, Harris is not alone in these sentiments. A scientific opinion poll conducted by Small Business Majority found that a vast three-quarters of small business owners believe creating a path toward legal citizenship for undocumented workers should be part of our country's immigration reform. The poll also found that 64% of small business owners think it's important to allow more low skilled foreign workers, who might work in industries like cleaning services, into this country legally.

"Hopefully, immigration reform will address many of these issues," Harris said, echoing the beliefs of 90% of business owners who agree that our current system is broken.

Janico Awarded Amtrak Contract

ROSEVILLE, CA (March 1, 2014) - Janico Building Services recently secured a contract from National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) to provide a full range of janitorial services to Amtrak stations located throughout Northern California. The janitorial service contract is for approximately $1.5 million over a five-year period.

Under this contract, Janico will provide maintenance services to include janitorial, window washing, floor and carpet care, graffiti removal and pressure washing. The contract encompasses Amtrak's Capital Corridor and centralizes functional responsibility and maximizes efficiency by combining maintenance services into one performance requirement.

The contract win amid a stiff competitive environment signifies the inherent service quality of Janico. The company provides various services to address the challenges of building owners, property and facility managers and government agencies, including critical quality support services.

Janico has a healthy contract pipeline and is well diversified in the private and public sectors. In the last fiscal year, total revenue increased 17.8% year over year, primarily driven by organic growth from new sales and expansion of services with existing clients.

JBS Founder Earns LEED® Certification

SACRAMENTO, CA (June 7, 2012) - Lorenzo Harris, Founder and Principal of Janico Building Services, has been designated by the U.S. Green Building Council as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Associate.

The LEED® Green Building Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. As a LEED® Green Associate, Harris has gained knowledge of green design and construction to be able to assist clients in protecting their innovations in the expanding green technology sector. The LEED® Green Associate credential distinguishes professionals with the knowledge and skills to successfully support green design, construction and operations.

Harris has spearheaded Janico's efforts to implement environmental stewardship in its building maintenance processes while partnering with building owners and property managers to obtain LEED® certification for their projects. In his role as LEED®-EB partner, Harris has assisted numerous clients in complying with their LEED® Green cleaning requirements. Harris' LEED® certification enables him to assist clients in the procurement of commercial products and services that increase efficiency, preserve natural resources, and reduce emissions.

"Our goal is to be a resource to our clients in the area of sustainable green building, operations and maintenance," said Harris. "We are committed to supporting our customers in the maintenance of environmentally progressive and energy-efficient buildings."

Harris Elected CREW President

SACRAMENTO, CA (January 12, 2012) - Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Sacramento, the industry's leading advocate for the success of women in commercial real estate, announced at its January program today that Yolanda Harris was elected 2012 CREW Sacramento president.

Harris is Director of Business Development for Sacramento-based Janico Building Services, a regional building service contracting firm that services commercial clients in the Sacramento region and greater San Francisco Bay Area. Harris co-founded Janico in 1985, and assumed her current role in February 1998. She has more than 26 years of experience in the commercial real estate services industry.

Harris is a longtime CREW Network member, having joined the Sacramento Chapter in 1998. She has served on many CREW committees, and earned the chapter's Member of the Year honor in 2000. In 2008, Harris was elected to the Board of Directors, in addition to serving as the chapter's Membership Director from 2008-2010. In conjunction with her many roles within CREW, Harris also served on the Northern California Supplier Development Council (NCSDC) Board of Directors from November 2003 until December 2006. She was CREW Sacramento's President-Elect in 2011.

CREW Sacramento also announced new and returning board members and officers: