Nine workers from Challenge Unlimited Inc. have won a top award for their janitorial work at the Paul Findley Federal Building in Springfield.
The group will formally receive the 2011 GSA/NISH Partners in Service Excellence Award in a ceremony at the federal courthouse today.
The nine employees perform janitorial services through a General Services Administration contract at the federal courthouse. They were chosen for the NISH Partners in Service Award from among hundreds of other federal buildings in the seven-state region.
The Partners in Excellence Award recognizes superior performance and creativity, dependability, solid documentation and continuous improvement. Only programs that participate in the AbilityOne program, which helps severely disabled people find employment through federal contracts, were eligible for the award.
National Industries for the Severely Handicapped is a national nonprofit agency that creates jobs for people with significant disabilities by obtaining federal contracts via the AbilityOne program.
AbilityOne provides jobs for more than 45,000 people through more than 600 nonprofit organizations that provide goods and services to the federal government.
Tami McKittrick, project manager for Challenge Unlimited, said the regional nominees were narrowed to four. GSA/NISH representatives then came to Springfield and toured the building and conducted interviews, she said.
"I'm very proud," said Kathy Ousley, who has worked at the courthouse building for nine years and is one of the honored employees. She said she works about 7 ½ hours a day at the building.
"We have been nominated before, but this is the first time we've won," she said.
The other workers are Carlos Arnoudts, Alex Humphrey, Jeff Dahlkamp, Joyce Cook, Harold Patterson, Cynthia Howell, Andrew Collins and Shane Kelly.
Chris Dettro can be reached at 788-1510.
Photo: Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register -- Nine workers from Challenge Unlimited Inc. have won the GSA/NISH Partners in Service Excellence Award for their work at the Paul Findley Federal Building. The workers and their project manager are, left to right, Kathy Ousley, Cynthia Howell, Jeff Dahlkamp, project manager Tami McKittrick, Andrew Collins, Shane Kelly, Alex Humphrey, Carlos Arnoudts, Joyce Cook and Harold Patterson.