Laundry opens hospital service center

CLEANING UP Workers at the new Crothall laundry facility in Gilroy began work this month. Photo by Bryce Stoepfel.

Crothall Healthcare, the laundry and linen division of The Compass Group, has opened a hospital laundry and linen service center in Gilroy and is looking for more employees to wash up to 20 million pounds of linens a year.

Crothall provides linen services for Kaiser and Stanford Hospitals, washing sheets, drapes, nurses scrubs and doctors coats. Its parent Compass Group is the fifth largest employer in the world with 550,000 employees in 50 countries.
With 50 employees working in production at the GIlroy location, 8190 Murray Ave., in engineering, delivery and office jobs, Crothall in a year expects Gilroy to be the company’s second-largest laundry facility, of 48 total across the U.S.

May 2 marked the facility’s official first day of operations, following six months of preparatory work. Under the encouraging eyes of Crothall Healthcare Chief Executive Officer Michael Barner and company Vice-President Jaime Brockamp, employees worked washing and folding more than 20,000 pounds of hospital linen in the 120,000 square foot facility at 8190 Murray Avenue. With 12 loading docks and continued growth in Bay Area, they expect to get busier.

“We had built a facility in Manteca, but we got so much business that we needed another facility in this area,” Barnett said. “This building was sitting empty, and thanks to our former General Manager Jason Armagost, we brought in new equipment, put on a new roof, and we refurbished everything.”

“Our ideal candidate is someone who does not have laundry experience because they are trainable and they can learn how we do things,” Barnett said. “It takes a couple of days to learn how to work the machines.”

When someone goes to the hospital, one of the last things that may be on their mind is the sheets on the bed, the drapes on the window, or the uniforms worn by their nurses or doctors, Barnett said. “We want to make sure that everything that leaves this place is pristine, sterile and ready for a hospital environment,” he said.

Crothall is hiring for multiple positions, but Barnett said it is especially scrambling for qualified mechanics who have boiler and hydraulic experience.