“For us it was about broadening the skill set of the multitalented people that typically wear many hats inside the hospitality environment and saying… what other skills do you have or are you interested in learning, so we can make you more valuable to the marketplace?”Tim Chatfield, Founder & CEO Jitjatjo
At the onset of the pandemic, Joanne Rogers, whose late husband was Fred Rogers (aka Mister Rogers of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”), was asked what wisdom he would have imparted on the world had he been alive. She answered, “When Fred was a boy and scary things would happen to him, his mother used to tell him: ‘Freddy, look for the helpers.’ So he would have talked about the helpers.”
Tim Chatfield is one of those helpers. As the Founder and CEO of Jitjatjo, an on-demand hospitality staffing platform, he recognized that with some retooling, he could align and optimize his company to support out of work hospitality workers and help minimize the spread of Covid.
“First, we examined how we could repurpose our resources, which consisted of a large number of employees working in on-demand hospitality style gigs,” says Chatfield. “We really dialed in on the fact they are multi-skilled, resilient and passionate individuals that like to help people. So we started retraining and retooling them.”
As a New Yorker confined to his “box in the sky,” Chatfield began educating people in hygiene and sanitation through a program called, CleanDisinfect, knowing that would be the most essential part of getting businesses to reopen.
Through this, he assembled a staff of COVID-19 accredited cleaners, janitors/custodians and disinfection technicians and made them readily available to help businesses like retailers, restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals, and government authorities meet the new health and sanitation standards.
“CleanDisinfect, as the name suggests, is just that. It’s about making sure environments are clean and disinfected and safe for occupation,” Chatfield says. “The other part is helping those in hospitality get back to work. By retraining our talent community to be commercial cleaners and disinfection technicians, we are meeting those needs in the market.”
CleanDisinfect utilizes a new technology called electrostatic spraying, which is the same solution being used on airplanes. It is a 3-step process.
- Clean: A team of accredited professionals will start by performing a forensic cleaning the facility from top to bottom and corner to corner.
- Disinfect: Using EPA N-Listed, hospital-grade disinfectants, the team will treat every inch of the facility.
- Protect: Once clean and disinfected, the team will then apply an anti-microbial coating to create an invisible barrier that will work to inhibit the growth of bacteria, viruses and other germs.
In addition to training staff to disinfect, Jitjatjo is also working to build its force of housekeepers, safety ambassadors, and patient transporters inside hospitals and healthcare facilities.
At the height of the pandemic, the company was helping The Javits Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and the new field hospital development at the US Open Tennis Center remain open with staffing. More recently, the team has been helping understaffed schools and universities to feed their students.
Jitjatjo also launched the campaign, #hirehospitality, aimed at supporting furloughed hospitality workers. To become part of the program, workers in need of employment can register via the Jitjatjo Flex app.
“Jitjatjo’s values are human betterment and community and we’ve really stayed true to that,” says Chatfield. “Now more than ever, everyone needs a champion to reach their potential and getting people back to work, increasing Covid-19 awareness and helping communities come out of their caves and safely re-engage in properly sanitized indoor environments is pretty cool.”
Elise began her career as a Writer/Anchor/Reporter at CNN headquarters in Atlanta, GA. She also served as Supervising Producer at E! Networks and most recently, has been busy freelance producing and writing for numerous magazines and blogs.