Cleaning up in a big way

Laura Huthwaite started Giant
Janitorial Service Inc. to create an
extra source of income while her husband was in college and she worked
another job.

In the 40 years since then, she has
employed more than 5,000 people and
today has more than
110 employees who
staff janitorial contracts in the metro
Detroit area. And
she remains very
involved in the business, visiting each
customer to learn
the requirements of the job and ensure
expectations are being met.

Huthwaite also sees the business as an
opportunity to advance the livelihood of
her employees. Because she requires background checks and uses word-of-mouth to
find employees, Giant Janitorial’s turnover
rate is below that of the local industry standard. She also hires people who need a second chance, giving them training and
empowering them through the responsibilities of the job.

And in a business where jobs are awarded to the lowest bidder, Huthwaite has
worked hard to keep costs low, pioneering
the “lost step” technique in which the activities of employees are planned so that all
resources are near-at-hand and no extra
time is spent locating supplies.

Her dedication and hard work have
paid off with contracts that have included the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Michigan State Fair and a
contract with Wayne County Community
College that has been in place for 25

Although she’s been in business for 40
years, she has no plans to retire and is
looking to expand into Florida. In addition, as community school districts have
begun to privatize janitorial services,
Giant is bidding those contracts, as well.

HOW TO REACH: Giant Janitorial Service Inc., (313) 886-7797