In Their Father’s Footsteps
Alexandria, LA – The Youngs learned the lessons of the janitorial business and their lessons of life from the same teacher − their father, Melvin Young.
Ervin said he and Chris learned early on from their father the value of working hard and doing a good job at whatever you chose to do. The brothers helped Melvin every day after school and sports practices, cleaning offices at night. They were joined by their other brothers – Robert, Bruce, Chuck, Trent and Cory.
The Young brothers started Young & Young Associates janitorial service in 2007 and were recognized by Jani-King Crown Club winners in February 2015.
Robert owns a Jani-King franchise in Dallas and Bruce works part-time for the Youngs. Melvin is still cleaning offices in Marksville and the surrounding areas.
Melvin said his wife, Irma, was the driving force in starting Melvin & Irma Young Janitorial in 1974. “We started with one office and grew,” Melvin said. “In fact, we had so many customers at one time that we had to turn people down.” Irma said all of the children in their combined family helped in the business. “They are very good at it,” Irma said. “They all used to work with us. When they started going to college and the military, we tried to keep up as best as we could. With my other job, I just couldn’t hack it any more so I stopped. Melvin is still at it, though.” When Ervin and Chris decided to go out on their own, Melvin recommended they consider a franchise with Jani-King. Ervin said that, too, was wise advice from a man who had given so much wise advice before.
The thing he holds most dear, in his relationship with his father, is that “he is always there for us. Our mother, Ethma Andrew, recently passed away and he was right there with us, giving us his love and support.”
Ervin said Melvin’s lessons of business that he and Chris follow to this day include “go in, do your work and get out. He would inspect our work to make sure we did a good job.”
Other life lessons would include “always being respectful and to not get into trouble.” Chris said the cleaning business “came easy to us since we had been doing it for so long. I continued doing it afterhours when I was in the Army. When I retired from the Army, I wanted to do come home and open a cleaning business.”
Ervin said he and Chris already knew how to clean, but with Jani-King, they received support from the Alexandria office, which helped them bid, secure accounts and access equipment.”
The Young brothers have continued the family tradition of getting the whole family involved in the business, with their wives and children involved in the cleaning. The company has grown to a staff of 13 employees and 32 clients.
Melvin hasn’t really thought much about retiring. “I guess it could happen any day,” he said. Ervin smiled at his father and said, “If he retires, we’re going to get him to come work for us.”