PRWT Services, Inc. Celebrates 30 Years

PRWT Services, Inc. Celebrates 30 Years
Company leaders and staff joined together to recognize decades of commitment and professionalism

PRWT Services, Inc. recently had the great honor of celebrating its 30th Anniversary and joining with staff and company leaders to recognize three decades of achievements and successes.

The memorable event was led in Philadelphia by executive leaders who have helped shape what has become a nationally-recognized company since it started in 1988. These leaders included Malik Majeed, CEO, PRWT Services Inc., and U.S. Facilities Inc., Willie Johnson, Founder and Chairman, of PRWT, and Jim Dobrowolski, President, of U.S. Facilities Inc.

According to Majeed, Willie Johnson fostered the concept that at the end of the day, we don’t just come to work for us and our families, we come to work for the communities in which we live and work. 

“Willie was able to take that dream and passion of his and actually turn it into a business – a nationally recognized business that has been around for 30 years,” said Majeed.

“It’s a proud moment to reflect on where we came from and where we’re at today, but more importantly where we’re going, because we have tremendous opportunity. The next 10 years are going to be really exciting,” said Dobrowolski.

Many employees who attended the event, some who have been with the company for 20 years, had the opportunity to reflect back on all their positive experiences working at PRWT.

Crystal Carter, a PRWT employee of 19 years, said she has watched the company grow over the years and hopes it continues to branch out.

Employees in Philadelphia and PRWT satellite offices also received awards based on their length of tenure with the company.

Watch the excitement from our leaders and employees at the 30th Anniversary recognition event.

Al Dia News – Largest minority-owned company in Philadelphia restores community center in Puerto Rico

Al Dia News
Largest minority-owned company in Philadelphia restores community center in Puerto Rico
By Emily Neil
July 17, 2018

Philly-based PRWT worked on the ground to make the recovery from Hurricane Maria a little easier for Puerto Ricans in the town of Guayama.

Across the island, private and public sector companies and organizations have worked to restore Puerto Rico’s facilities to full power after Hurricane Maria’s landfall on September 20, 2017. Even as the island draws closer to the one-year anniversary of one of the worst natural disasters in United States history, and confronts what may come in the new hurricane season that has already begun, many of Puerto Rico’s facilities are still not yet fully restored.

But in the town of Guayama, the Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center is close to being completely restored and has served as an essential resource for the surrounding community throughout their recovery thanks to the efforts of Philly’s largest minority-owned company, PRWT, which has managed the center through its U.S. Facilities division in 2017. Founded in 1988, PRWT is focused on providing business process solutions, document processing, and facilities management and infrastructure support services.

PRWT employees worked to have the building back up and running by early October, just weeks after Maria hit the island. The center itself proved vital in the months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island, as volunteers and members of the Salvation Army team that worked there were able to give out meals and provide phone service, as well as a cool place to stay, for community members suffering from the effects of the hurricane.

Over the following weeks and months, Joe Rivera, a PRWT/U.S. Facilities project manager who oversaw the recovery efforts, made multiple trips back to Philadelphia to get all of the necessary parts for the generator, many of which weren’t available on the island. After each trip back to the mainland he returned with “suitcases full of equipment” so that he would have the parts and tools needed to do the job on the ground in Guayama.

After just two months, PRWT employees had also restored the wifi connection, allowing many people to be able to come to the center to access and use the internet. PRWT and U.S. facilities employees also were able to have the center’s pools restored by February of this past year.

As of the end of May, Rivera said that they were 80 to 90 percent finished and plan to be back at pre-Maria capacity by late July.

Rivera said that for himself and the other PRWT/ U.S. Facilities workers, it was a chance to “bring our experience and speed the process up” by boosting the center financially and bringing their knowledge to the table.

“A lot of the things we do are not seen. In the end we did as much as we could to help out and we continued to,” said Rivera. “We went where other companies may not have been able to go to.”

PRWT isn’t the only private sector company or nonprofit organization who has stepped up to fill a void left by government support in the post-Maria recovery process. FEMA aid has been slow in coming, and much less has gone to Puerto Rico in the wake of one of the island’s worst natural disasters than other locations in the U.S. who have suffered recent natural disasters. Nine days after the respective disasters, FEMA had approved just $6.2 million in individual assistance aid to Puerto Rico for recovery from Hurricane Maria, compared to the $141.8 million for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

According to an internal assessment released by FEMA last Thursday, the agency admitted that its response to Hurricane Maria, and was marked by “severe personnel shortages, difficulties coordinating relief logistics, a lack of basic aid supplies, and a lack of local preparation, among other shortcomings,” reported Buzzfeed News.

Creativity Can Open the Doorway to Opportunity

By Malik Majeed, President, CEO & General Counsel

I often talk about PRWT’s commitment to hiring locally and how it is a top priority for us. Beyond that, when we have an opportunity to hire contractors for a project or client need, we assertively look to include other minority-owned businesses, such as our long-time partner Team Clean Inc., a minority and woman owned janitorial services company.

As Michelle Obama once said, “When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.”

While mentorships and relationships are important to helping others succeed, we need to start thinking creatively in order to scale up our efforts to increase minority-owned business numbers in Philadelphia.

I recently read an article about Charlotte’s efforts to leverage the 2019 NBA All-Star Game to increase the number of contracts minority-owned businesses land with the NBA. From now until the game in February, the city is offering mentoring opportunities and face time with NBA executives in hopes that the association and its teams will partner with local business owners during the sporting event. Participants will attend sessions to learn how to access capital needed for growth, and about ways to improve their marketing and sales strategies, among other things.

Businesses will not necessarily score a contract with the NBA, but the face time with executives alone is exponentially beneficial to helping a company grow and opening up future business opportunities. Additionally, by bringing all of these minority-owned companies together for mentoring sessions, the city is creating a whole network to facilitate increased collaboration between these organizations and to help foster business growth.

That’s exactly the kind of creativity we need in Philadelphia to jump-start our minority-owned businesses. I encourage our city leaders to come together and think of ways the private and public sectors can work to increase opportunities for our minority business community – beyond the conventional programs that are already in place. We need to start opening more doors for minority business owners.