Our drone team has been busy

SSC is well-versed in the challenges facing education today, and we’re always looking for ways to enhance our services through technology. That’s where our drone team comes in.

Whether a school needs rooftop surveys, to assess storm damage or just wants a pretty picture of the new paint job on the football field, our drone team is here to help.


When James Amos, project manager at Tarleton State University in Texas, heard his regional director talking about potentially starting a drone technology program at his campus, he volunteered to be the main drone operator and pilot for Tarleton State and surrounding sites. SSC paid for James to complete training to obtain his FAA drone pilot certificate.

The drone has proven to be a great tool for many reasons.

“We can do roof inspections of our buildings, and we have thermal capability so we can see any hot or cold spots,” Amos said. “It’s so much easier to do our job using the drone.”

This not only benefits our services at SSC, but also the client.

“Being able to access hard-to-reach areas without renting expensive equipment and taking several hours to assess a rooftop area saves our clients thousands of dollars,” Amos said.

Amos enjoys working for SSC because of the opportunities he’s been given.

“To have a company put faith in you, to allow you to venture out to something that has a lot of up-front cost, and basically take a gamble on you – it’s been very rewarding and I’m really thankful to work for a company that gives me these opportunities,” he says.

The drone team has been busy.

On Oct. 21, 2019, Parker University in Dallas, Texas, was devastated by an F-3 tornado that completely shut down the university, impacting 15 buildings. Campus electrical was destroyed, poles and transformers were pulled out of the ground, and landscaping and exterior metal fencing was also damaged.

The next morning, SSC associates were directed to the campus to support recovery efforts in any way possible. With the drone team’s help, assessments began right away. SSC used the drone to scout the campus and locate damage.

Almost nobody believed it would be possible to have the university up and running within a week, but through the efforts of SSC personnel and university leadership, the campus was open for business the following Monday.

Parker University made it through the initial cleanup phase and began designing plans for future construction efforts. This would not have happened if the drone team hadn’t been in place to see the campus from a bird’s-eye view and locate the damage caused by the tornado.

SSC’s goal is always to provide our clients with the highest standard of customer service, consistent quality and cost-effective approaches – and our drone team helps us do all three.

Letting goats loose in California

Fire season is stressful for many Californians. With the frequency of western flames greatly increasing, it’s crucial to look for ways to reduce this natural disaster from occurring on a large scale.

To help, SSC turned to goats – that’s right, goats! – at The Athenian School in California to clean up their Danville campus, because “fires need fuel – but so do goats.” It’s that simple. Goats are very agile, efficient and hungry, which is why officials are choosing them as lawnmowers. They are a go-to resource for reducing stress and fire risk.

“Livestock managers need a place to graze, and the park district needs fuel management,” ecologist Kristen Van Dam explains.

Read more about how SSC uses goats to help prevent fires in California in Diablo Magazine.

For more stories like this, subscribe to the SSC Monthly newsletter. Get news about the latest trends in education and support services, plus tips from our knowledgeable and experienced staff about how to make your facilities run smoothly — and save money.

SSC Services for Education Celebrates 50th Anniversary, Outlines Future for Greener Schools and Facilities

Press Release

Company commits to eliminating 53 million pounds of carbon dioxide and converting over 1/3 of its gas-powered equipment to electric by 2024 

KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE (October 9, 2019) — SSC Services for Education (SSC), a leading national K-12 and university facilities and grounds management provider, celebrated its 50th year of delivering customized solutions to U.S. educational institutions by announcing recent business growth and plans for a greener facilities future, which includes reducing its carbon emissions footprint by 33%.

SSC recapped significant growth in its 50th year with a 662% company increase in top-line revenue increase over the last nine years, alongside outlining accelerated energy-efficient solutions to reduce carbon emissions nationwide for a greener tomorrow. 

“SSC continues to provide unmatched facilities services for our partners across the country,” said Seth Ferriell, CEO and President of SSC Services of Education. “Our goal of becoming a more eco-conscious partner represents our continued commitment to promoting the well-being of students, teachers and the communities we operate in. Our renewed green vision will help create a brighter future for our partners and generations to come.”

50 Year Review: National Expansion, Stronger Communities Formed

Founded in 1969 by Baxter Lee, SSC began providing custodial services with one client in Knoxville, TN. Lee expanded SSC’s offerings and its partners to include K-12 schools, higher education facilities and hospitals. In 2010, the business was acquired by Compass Group, which significantly increased SSC’s national presence and expanded services to include plant operations and maintenance, grounds management and custodial and university campus services. 

Today, SSC serves over 135 clients, employs over 9,300 employees nationwide, maintains over 170 million square feet per day, and holds a 98% client retention rate. 

“Partnering with SSC has resulted in a safe and productive learning environment for our students,” said Dr. Rechel Anderson, Superintendent at Jasper County School District. “This year, SSC replaced 64 rooftop HVAC units while implementing solar panels where possible. These upgrades are projected to move our energy use intensity rating from 67th to 19th among all South Carolina school districts. Working with SSC has shown how a green school district can positively impact a community, and we look forward to partnering with SSC for many more years to come.”

Converting to Electric-Powered Equipment Signals Greener Tomorrow

Creating positive learning environments and promoting community wellbeing is core to SSC’s mission  and that includes creating a greener future for communities to come. 

In order to expand upon its mission to create healthier communities, SSC will transition its fleet of grounds and maintenance tools and vehicles from gas to electric-powered, with the goal of eliminating over 53 million pounds of carbon emissions. These carbon reductions compliment Compass Group USA’s broader commitment to the American Business Act on Climate Pledge. Compass pledged to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 2,000,000 metric tons by 2025.

“Implementing greener solutions for our partners represents our continued commitment to building healthy and sustainable communities, from inside and outside the classroom,” said Ferriell. “I look forward to the next 50 years of environmentally friendly and sustainable success with our partners.”

Over the next five years, SSC will convert over 200 mowers from gas to electric models through its partnership with Mean Green Mowers, a leading commercial e-Mower manufacturer. SSC is also transitioning to electric powered vehicles, such as golf and club cars, and handheld grounds tools, including weed eaters, leaf blowers and hedge trimmers. SSC already utilizes chemical-free cleaners, bamboo handles and reusable microfiber cloths in its daily operations.

In addition, SSC plans to upgrade partner facilities with energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems to continue its environmentally positive promise. In 2019, Jasper County School District (JCSD) in South Carolina announced plans to upgrade the district’s facilities to energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems, resulting in over $250,000 of cost savings. 

To learn more about SSC, please visit http://sscserv.com/.

About SSC Services for Education

SSC Service for Education based in Knoxville, Tennessee provides customized facility solutions to over 130 educational clients in 24 states.  Our 9,000+ employees partner with these educational institutions to further the success and well-being of students, staff, and faculty by delivering quality facilities programs – custodial, grounds, and maintenance. As a trusted and specialized provider, we are committed to enhancing educational settings and creating financial guarantees. With SSC, students and staff flourish in improved surroundings, while partner schools focus on their core objective: educating future generations. http://sscserv.com/.

About Mean Green Mowers:

Traditional gas mowers are noisy and hurt the environment. Mean Green Mowers, the leading commercial e-Mower manufacturer builds superior electric mowers for those that care about the future of the planet and want to save money. Founded in 2010, Mean Green Mowers is headquartered in Ross, Ohio, and is owned by father and son co-founders Joe and Matt Conrad. To learn more, visit: http://www.meangreenmowers.com.

Media Contact:

Catherine Merritt
Communications, SSC Services for Education
(865) 673-4372
catherine.merritt@compass-usa.com

SSC Services for Education and Dallas NAACP Announce Recipients of University Scholarships Worth $10,000

Press Release

Four local students each awarded $2,500 in merit-based scholarships for excellence in academics, character and community service.  

DALLAS (July 30, 2019) — SSC Services for Education (SSC), a national leading K-12 and university facilities and grounds management provider, and the Dallas NAACP chapter today announced the winning recipients of the Dallas NAACP & SSC Services for Education Scholarship. Each receiving $2,500, the awarded recipients were Nia Mobley of Carter High School, Christina Esters of Cedar Hill High School and Jordan Roberts and Paul Edwards of Desoto High School.

The four scholarships will support each recipient’s pursuit of attending higher education. This year’s award winners will attend Xavier University (Roberts), Prairie View A&M University (Mobley), Texas A&M University (Esters) and Morehouse College (Edwards).

“We all have a responsibility to do all we can to improve our society wherever possible. Uplifting the best and brightest of future generations is a key avenue for improving challenges facing our communities today,” said Aubrey C. Hooper, Branch President at the Dallas NAACP. “Because of critical partnerships with organizations like SSC Services for Education, we’re able to help actualize our mission and empower high achieving, diverse students across the Dallas community.“

Scholarship recipients demonstrated academic excellence, a proven track record of outstanding leadership and community service. 

In addition to supporting the Dallas NAACP, SSC also provides summer job opportunities through the Dr. Emmett Conrad Leadership Program. The program provides high-caliber college students with career-building summer employment, character-building education and community service projects. 

This is SSC’s second year supporting the leadership program and currently employs three local students. The company plans to continue providing career growth opportunities for more local students into the future.

“It is core to our mission to support the communities where we operate, and this scholarship and the Dr. Emmett Conrad Leadership programs are ways we are privileged to bolster these wonderful communities,” said Seth Ferriell, President at SSC Services for Education. “We are honored to help make a lasting impact inside and outside of the local schools and campuses we serve. We will continue to support Dallas communities and look forward to seeing the great accomplishments this year’s class achieves in the future.”

To learn more, please visit https://dallasnaacp.com/ or http://sscserv.com/.

About NAACP

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas by visiting NAACP.org.

About SSC Services for Education

SSC Service for Education based in Knoxville, Tennessee provides customized facility solutions to over 130 educational clients in 24 states.  Our 9,000+ employees partner with these educational institutions to further the success and well-being of students, staff, and faculty by delivering quality facilities programs – custodial, grounds, and maintenance. As a trusted and specialized provider, we are committed to enhancing educational settings and creating financial guarantees. With SSC, students and staff flourish in improved surroundings, while partner schools focus on their core objective: educating future generations. http://sscserv.com/

Media Contact:

Catherine Merritt
Communications, SSC Services for Education
(865) 673-4372

SSC Services for Education Helps Jasper County School District Save $280,000 a Year by Reducing Energy and Operating Costs

Press Release

Majority of school district’s facilities investment will be funded directly from clean energy savings  

Ridgeland, SC (June, 2019) — Jasper County School District (JCSD) and its facilities solutions partner SSC Services for Education (SSC) today announced an $8.5 million investment to make significant energy upgrades to the district’s facilities. After recognizing a need for facility retrofitting and significant equipment improvements, JCSD and SSC partnered with CMTA Energy Solutions (CMTA). The investment is projected to save the district $280,000 per year and is expected to be completed by the winter of 2020.  

Once upgrades are completed, JCSD’s energy use intensity (EUI) rating will jump from 67th to 19th place among all school districts in South Carolina.

“Creating a safe and productive learning environment for our students has always been a top priority in all our schools,” said Dr. Rechel Anderson, Superintendent at Jasper County School District. “We are confident in our decision to work with our trusted partners to make our facilities healthier for our students and staff and, in the process, become one of the greenest districts in South Carolina.”

Beginning this summer, CMTA will begin the engineering design and specifications to replace nearly all JCSD’s rooftop HVAC units with new, state-of-the-art units designed for improved air quality that combat mold and reduce CO2 impact. In addition, all lighting will be upgraded to LED, with correct indoor lighting temperatures that create optimal learning environments. Brighter, directional exterior lighting will also be implemented for greater exterior safety while staying dark-sky compliant, reducing overall light pollution. 

Additional improvements include upgraded thermostat controls for temperature scheduling efficiencies that reduce costs and maintain optimal learning environments; a solar array installed at the Administration building for more “green” energy production; and water efficiency upgrades such as reduced flow faucets, toilets, and urinals. 

“Given how many hours students are at school each day, we often overlook how much a school’s physical environment can impact a student’s ability to flourish, both physically and mentally,” said David Payne, VP for Facilities at SSC Services for Education. “We’ve worked with Jasper County School District for seven months and we’re thrilled to help make such important improvements to their facilities. The updates will greatly improve the students’ learning environments and ensure Jasper County School District continues to be a pillar in the greater community.” 

In all, these facility upgrades will create healthier learning environments for students, faculty and staff through improved air quality, better temperature controls, optimized lighting, and increased clean energy use. 

To learn more about these plans and ongoing developments, please visit http://www.jcsd.net.

About SSC Services for Education

SSC Service for Education based in Knoxville, Tennessee provides customized facility solutions to over 130 educational clients in 24 states.  Our 9,000+ employees partner with these educational institutions to further the success and well-being of students, staff, and faculty by delivering quality facilities programs – custodial, grounds, and maintenance. As a trusted and specialized provider, we are committed to enhancing educational settings and creating financial guarantees. With SSC, students and staff flourish in improved surroundings, while partner schools focus on their core objective: educating future generations. http://sscserv.com/  

About Jasper County School District

Jasper County School District, an independent governmental entity, serves the entire county. The

District provides a full range of educational services at two locations with a staff of more than 200 teachers, 52.9 percent whom have advanced degrees. All schools are fully accredited by AdvancedEd. The District provides basic and advanced educational programs through its two campuses that serve approximately (as of 2017-18) 2,560 students in its Pre-K through 12th grade programs. The high school curriculum includes career/technical courses, as well as college preparatory programs. In addition, the District provides pre-school education for four-year old programs who are identified as at-risk and are in need of an intervention program to prepare them for school; programs for gifted and talented students designed to meet the special needs of the high ability learners; special education programs for all students who qualify; English as a Second Language Program, which provides academic support and English language instruction to elementary, middle, and high school students who are not proficient in English. The District provides vocational and career development skills through its participation, with Beaufort County, in the Academy for Career Excellence (BJACE), where high school students, grade ten and higher, may attend the academy to explore careers or enroll in a “completer program.” The District offers an Alternative Program, which provides a temporary option for middle and high school students who are experiencing difficulties in the regular school setting, and whose needs can be better met in an alternative educational setting. In addition, the District offers Homebound Instruction and Adult Education classes, which provide basic education courses, General Education Development (GED) State Equivalence Test; and high school diploma programs.

About CMTA

CMTA is a national engineering firm offering guaranteed energy savings performance contracting, MEP engineering, commissioning, technology design, and security analysis and design.  The firm has 12 offices in 9 states and the District of Columbia.  CMTA specializes in premium efficiency facility design, with over 2 million square feet of net zero energy facilities currently in operation.

Media Contact:

Catherine Merritt
Communications, SSC Services for Education
(865) 673-4372
catherine.merritt@compass-usa.com

SSC Services for Education Grounds Department Honored Alongside Award Winning West Texas A&M University

Press Release

Professional Grounds Management Society presents 2018 Green Star Honor Award

Canyon, TX (October 2018) – The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) recognized West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas with an Honor Award in the Society’s 2018 Green Star Awards® competition. The award was given in the University and College Grounds category for exceptional grounds maintenance. Winners were honored during the Society’s 2018 Awards Dinner held Oct. 18 in conjunction with the School of Grounds Management & GIE+EXPO in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 16-19.

In the arid climate that is the panhandle of Texas, the SSC Services for Education West Texas A&M Grounds Department diligently maintains the campus that has earned the nickname “Oasis on the Plains.”  From the annual planting of trees and to the daily challenges of maintaining 176 acres that see 60 degree temperature fluctuations in a single day, the team stands apart in their dedication to the beautification of the campus and community and their passion for upholding West Texas A&M University as a diverse and inclusive student-center community of learners.

The Green Star Awards program brings national recognition to grounds maintained with a high degree of excellence, complimenting other national landscape award programs that recognize outstanding landscape design and construction. Grand, Honor and Merit Awards are offered in 19 categories. The judging criteria are: overall aesthetics, staff professionalism, response to grounds related challenges, sustainable practices, and safety.  Additionally, SSC Services for Education accounts were recognized with the 2018 PGMS Green Star Grand Award at Tarleton State University and the Honor Award at Prairie View A&M University.

About SSC Services for Education

SSC Service for Education based in Knoxville, Tennessee provides customized facility solutions to over 130 educational clients in 24 states.  Our 9000+ employees partner with these educational institutions to further the success and well-being of students, staff, and faculty by delivering quality facilities programs – custodial, grounds, and maintenance. As a trusted and specialized provider, we are committed to enhancing educational settings and creating financial guarantees that can be reallocated into key areas of West Texas A&M University’s academic mission. With SSC, students and staff flourish in improved surroundings, while you focus on your core objective: educating our future.  http://sscserv.com/ 

SSC Services for Education Grounds Department Honored Alongside Award Winning Tarleton State University

Press Release

Professional Grounds Management Society presents 2018 Green Star Grand Award

Stephenville, TX (October 2018) – The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) recognized Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas with a Grand Award in the Society’s 2018 Green Star Awards® competition. The award was given in the University and College Grounds category for exceptional grounds maintenance. Winners were honored during the Society’s 2018 Awards Dinner held Oct. 18 in conjunction with the School of Grounds Management & GIE+EXPO in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 16-19.

From the Trogdon House at center of campus which students helped construct in 1923, to the Tarleton Iris bread by J.V Laird to perfectly showcase Tarleton State University’s colors, to the daily challenges of maintaining 180 acres that contain over 5000 Knockout Roses, the SSC Services for Education Tarleton State University Grounds Department stands apart in their dedication to the beautification of the campus and community, honoring its history and tradition, and partnering in their passion for Tarleton State University’s mission to develop moral and ethical thinkers, scholars, and leaders who demonstrate civility and integrity, while contributing meaningfully and responsibly to a global society.

The Green Star Awards program brings national recognition to grounds maintained with a high degree of excellence, complimenting other national landscape award programs that recognize outstanding landscape design and construction. Grand, Honor and Merit Awards are offered in 15 categories. The judging criteria are: overall aesthetics, staff professionalism, response to grounds related challenges, sustainable practices, and safety. Additionally, SSC Services for Education accounts were recognized with the PGMS Green Star Honor Award at Prairie View A&M University and West Texas A&M University.

About SSC Services for Education SSC Service for Education based in Knoxville, Tennessee provides customized facility solutions to over 130 educational clients in 24 states.  Our 9000+ employees partner with these educational institutions to further the success and well-being of students, staff, and faculty by delivering quality facilities programs – custodial, grounds, and maintenance. As a trusted and specialized provider, we are committed to enhancing educational settings and creating financial guarantees that can be reallocated into key areas of Tarleton State University’s academic mission. With SSC, students and staff flourish in improved surroundings, while you focus on your core objective: educating our future.  http://sscserv.com/ 

Media Contact:

Catherine Merritt
Communications, SSC Services for Education
(865) 673-4372
catherine.merritt@compass-usa.com

SSC Services for Education Grounds Department Honored Alongside Award Winning Prairie View A&M University

Press Release

Professional Grounds Management Society presents 2018 Green Star Honor Award

Prairie View, TX (October 2018) – The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) recognized Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas with an Honor Award in the Society’s 2018 Green Star Awards® competition. The award was given in the University and College Grounds category for exceptional grounds maintenance. Winners were honored during the Society’s 2018 Awards Dinner held Oct. 18 in conjunction with the School of Grounds Management & GIE+EXPO in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 16-19. Prairie View A&M University is the first HBCU to receive the Honor Award.

From working with 20 student organizations that have dedicated trees, to installing new irrigation systems to optimize water usage, to beautification and restoration of constructions sites at an ever expanding university, the SSC Services for Education Prairie View A&M Grounds Department diligently strives to uphold the Prairie View A&M University values of: access and quality, accountability, diversity, leadership, relevance, and social responsibility.

The Green Star Awards program brings national recognition to grounds maintained with a high degree of excellence, complimenting other national landscape award programs that recognize outstanding landscape design and construction. Grand, Honor and Merit Awards are offered in 15 categories. The judging criteria are: overall aesthetics, staff professionalism, response to grounds related challenges, sustainable practices, and safety.  Additionally, SSC Services for Education accounts were recognized with the PGMS Green Star Grand Award at Tarleton State University and the Honor Award at West Texas A&M University.

About SSC Services for Education

SSC Service for Education based in Knoxville, Tennessee provides customized facility solutions to over 130 educational clients in 24 states.  Our 9000+ employees partner with these educational institutions to further the success and well-being of students, staff, and faculty by delivering quality facilities programs – custodial, grounds, and maintenance. As a trusted and specialized provider, we are committed to enhancing educational settings and creating financial guarantees that can be reallocated into key areas of Prairie View A&M University’s academic mission. With SSC, students and staff flourish in improved surroundings, while you focus on your core objective: educating our future.  http://sscserv.com/ 

Media Contact:

Catherine Merritt
Communications, SSC Services for Education
(865) 673-4372
catherine.merritt@compass-usa.com