Cleveland State To Outsource Physical Plant Services With State Contract

Friday, February 23, 2018

Approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents, Cleveland State Community College has agreed to contract its Physical Plant Services with Jones Lang LaSalle (“JLL”) under the revised State contract established May 26, 2017.  JLL will be responsible for overseeing all maintenance, custodial and grounds services for the main campus in Cleveland and sites located in Athens and Vonore.

Cleveland State President, Dr. Bill Seymour said, “Contracting our physical plant services is the best opportunity for Cleveland State now and in the future. While we are confident that JLL will improve services and create savings which we cannot provide ourselves, our largest concern has been for our 16 employees currently working in that area. 

The contract assures that every employee in that department will have a job with JLL and be provided a remuneration equalization package.  I have never seen a company make such an effort to keep transitioning employees whole.  Knowing our employees would be protected and still be here working with us each day was a critical part of our decision.”

Success of Tennessee's facilities management outsourcing program, initiated in 2013, drove the state's decision to include more state properties for professional management and maintenance. Results of the initial project, which included 10 percent of state properties, yielded better service and more than $26 million in savings through fiscal year 2016 (including $6 million in utility savings). It is on track for $40 million in savings by the end of 2017 and $50 million in five-year taxpayer savings by June 30, 2018.

According to the new contract, State-owned colleges and universities will have the option to leverage JLL services, and are encouraged to explore the opportunity to improve facilities management and lower costs.  

Under new contract terms, JLL is required to keep all current employees in newly managed JLL facilities. Employees that transition to JLL will have a compensation package, including benefits, equitable to their state compensation. Employees who transitioned from the State of Tennessee to JLL under the 2013 contract today earn, on average, approximately 38 percent more than when they were employed by Tennessee.

The transition will begin March 1, 2018, with the JLL team visiting campus and meeting with current employees to conduct transition preparation planning. In the 90 days following, JLL will conduct alignment workshops, provide training and implement processes and systems. JLL will officially begin providing facilities management services on July 1, 2018. 

Vice President for Finance and Operations Alisha Fox stated “The change to a third-party provider will create several other efficiencies on campus impacting our departments of Accounts Payable, Human Resources, Payroll and Purchasing.  We recognized that our primary mission as a college is to educate and serve students.  We are not experts in taking care of facilities.  JLL has the experience and resources to help our college advance, while we grow and improve our campus.”

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