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Breaking News: UBM Facilities Services closed


By Tara Garcia Mathewson

UBM Facilities Services, once the largest Hispanic-owned facility maintenance company in the Midwest, closed its doors Wednesday, ending a period of mounting debt.

  James S. Cabrera, founder and CEO of UBM, said the troubles started when Chicago Public Schools contracted out janitorial services to Aramark Corporation. CPS had been one of the company’s largest clients, employing thousands of janitorial service workers.

   In an exclusive interview with Negocios Now, Cabrera said the company also struggled to close out 90 worker’s compensation claims that caused its costs to skyrocket in the last two years.

  Cabrera started his company in 1979 as a small carpet cleaning company, saying he never expected it to grow as big as it did. UBM provided janitorial, HVAC/mechanical, painting, snow removal and landscaping services to a long list of clients, includinChgoMSDC CMBR Cover Shoot UBM 011713g Fortune 100 companies. It had claimed an “incomparably high” client retention ratio, always striving for total client satisfaction.

  With more than 2,100 employees, UBM grew into a $75 million company, becoming one of the most important businesses in the state. It collected multiple awards over the years, including National Minority Supplier Development Council supplier of the year.

  While all of its contracts have been taken over by other companies, Cabrera said UBM is still working with a bank to collect final payments from former clients and address its debt. Remaining employees, however, were laid off for the Aug. 31 closure. (Read more in Negocios Now print edition)