DAD Services of Oakland, California is a janitorial company that specializes in providing top-notch commercial cleaning for San Francisco Bay Area businesses. The company was established in 1998 by Donald Jacko Sr., a native Oakland resident, and has always been a minority-owned, family-run business. DAD Services serves a diverse group of clients including medical institutions, investigative services, and security companies at their various locations. As part of his business philosophy, DAD Services aims to employ disadvantaged people, particularly formerly incarcerated individuals.
Pacific Community Ventures first met Donald in 2016 when they made a small loan to DAD Services. That funding helped make the company bankable, and shortly after, Donald secured a line of credit from Bank of the West. DAD Services has also taken full advantage of PCV’s free Business Advising program, which pairs small business owners with pro-bono business advisors. Since joining the Business Advising program in 2016, Donald has been paired with a total of three advisors receiving mentorship in budgeting, financial forecasting, and HR.
DAD Services is also a participant in PCV’s Good Jobs, Good Business pilot program, an initiative to provide business owners with the resources they need to offer quality jobs. DAD Services has been working on implementing the toolkit with pro-bono advisor Jennifer Levy, a retired Partner at Rockwood Capital, LLC. Jennifer has nearly three decades of professional and managerial experience, including growing teams, which has made her an invaluable resource for the DAD Services team as they set out to think through which area of the toolkit they wanted to tackle.
They chose the Employee Engagement section of the toolkit. When beginning the pilot, Donald sought out the opinions of his existing employees to understand how the company could improve. The common denominator was the need for middle management. Subsequently, he held interviews with the employees that he felt were qualified to take the next step as a manager. He promoted four employees and integrated them into their managerial role by building out training materials to prepare them.
Through their work together on the GJGB pilot, Jennifer and Donald Jr. have also looked into other procedures at DAD Services. For example, Jennifer gave recommendations on how their employee handbook could be simplified and made more relevant. The toolkit has helped DAD Services lay the groundwork for added engagement across all levels of their organization promoting an increase in cohesion and accountability. Jennifer inferred, “I think [DAD Services] would’ve eventually come to the conclusion that [they] couldn’t have grown without the leverage – and getting [the GJGB Toolkit] was the leverage.”
Donald stated, “Things run more like a well-oiled machine.” Rather than being a reactive business, they can be strategic at the senior management level now that they have hired middle management. They can also respond to opportunities that arise: for example, short-term contracts where they will be paid by lump sum and require them to tap their subcontractor network. DAD Services also hopes these initiatives will help them limit attrition and absenteeism as their employees will be better trained and therefore set up for success in their jobs. Finally, DAD Services shared that providing training has helped lower these administrative costs. As DAD Services continues to work on the pilot, they hope to see greater profitability, employee stability, and company awareness of where they are going.