CPS' facilities contractor, with poor track record, advertises jobs that require no drug tests
In April, Aramark, a Philadelphia-based food service and facilities company, held a jobs fair at St. Sabina Church on the South Side, listing openings for food service workers, cooks, general utility workers and custodial service workers.
A flyer advertised the event as being “Background Friendly! No Drug Test.”
On July 1, Aramark began work on a new, expanded contract with Chicago Public Schools (CPS), despite a March Chicago Sun-Times report stating that many schools failed basic cleanliness tests under an existing contract with Aramark. The filthy conditions were revealed through surprise inspections held late last year and earlier this year.
Chris Collom, a spokesman for Aramark, told Chicago City Wire that no workers hired at the St. Sabina jobs fair would work at the CPS under the new contract.
Collom said that the company follows all drug screening and background check policies required by the school district.
When asked where the new hires would work, he said at “other accounts outside the education sector.”
He declined to identify the “other accounts.”
Tyron Hudson, employer relations manager at the St. Sabina Employment Resource Center, which ran the event said to “consult with Aramark directly” when asked where the new hires from the April jobs fair would be working.
The new contract with CPS is worth $259 million to Aramark, according to a separate Sun-Times report that said the CPS was not forthcoming with details of the deal. Under the deal, Aramark will be responsible for cleaning, pest control and landscaping at most Chicago schools.
Numerous calls to the CPS communications office to find out more about the district’s drug policy for employees and contractors, and about the Aramark contract, were not returned.
The Sun-Times said that since 2014 Aramark has managed the cleaning of hundreds of Chicago schools, including all 125 that CPS inspected from December to February, and found rife with problems. Just 34 of the schools passed those cleanliness examinations, prompting Mayor Rahm Emanuel to say at the time that he was “beyond outraged.”