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Employees "brush up" for United Way event

July 11, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University employees will brush up on the volunteer spirit by taking part in the United Way's "Day of Caring" on Saturday, July 15, by painting the inside of the WMU Center for Disability Services.

All employees are volunteering their time to paint the center, located at 6857 W. Main St., starting at 9 a.m. The group represents a partnership between WMU maintenance management staff and skilled trades workers in the WMU bargaining unit of AFSCME--American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 1668. Taking part will be WMU Physical Plant employees in the maintenance, dining, custodial and landscaping divisions.

"The Center of Disability Services has been supporting the community for many years," says Peter Strazdas, director of WMU Maintenance Services. "It's our turn to support the center. A coat of paint will go a long way toward improving the environment at the center."

Bryan Sutton, president of AFSCME Local 1668, got the idea for the project while attending a United Way labor leaders dinner in February. He found out the United Way had plans to organize a drive to paint the center on Sept. 9. He decided to take on the project now and let the United Way tackle another project in September.

He contacted management for WMU Maintenance Services, who agreed to furnish equipment for the project and a vendor to provide the paint. The project will be completed at no cost to the United Way or the center.

"It's nice for labor and management to get together and do something like this," Sutton says. "We're providing the manpower, and between the two of us, we're doing it for the community."

For more information, contact Peter Strazdas at (269) 387-8584 or Bryan Sutton at (269) 873-0249.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

WMU News
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