For decades, the Heavy Duty (Custodial) Crew has been a cornerstone of the Work Program. Often working behind the scenes, Heavy Duty ensures that our facilities are maintained and ready for learning, serving, and celebrating. Dutifully led by Rodney Lytle, ’73 for almost 35 of his 46 years of work at the College, Heavy Duty inspires loyalty in its crew members that lasts a lifetime – “once Heavy Duty, always Heavy Duty.”

The work performed includes custodial and maintenance tasks — work that on the surface, might not seem particularly appealing. But as you develop your skills (how do you safely use and dispose of chemicals, anyway?), you will also come to find that work of all shapes develops discipline and empathy. And that the work that goes on behind the scenes in an organization are as important as those at the top of the organization.

Grit. Not Glamour.

The work performed by Heavy Duty is often not pretty, but like all work at the College, it develops skills, character, and resiliency. There is a reason that Heavy Duty alumni are so fiercely loyal – there is magic in the community it fosters.

Once Heavy Duty, Always Heavy Duty

When you are part of a community, your level of accountability for yourself and your surroundings heightens. Its not just a random face cleaning your bathroom, it’s your roommate’s or your neighbor’s. Treating everyone in my environment as a human being like me regardless of what they are doing rather than a task or a service is something that has stayed with me.

Kathleen Maloney, '04, Outdoor Leadership

My work crew has taught me how to be a leader, and how to stand up for what I believe is right. If I see a problem, I have the confidence to try and fix it instead of leaving it for someone else. I’ve gained a real sense of responsibility and respect for the spaces I am in and the people around me.

Xan Janick

Supervisor Spotlight

Thomas Wilder

Thomas Wilder graduated from Warren Wilson College in 2005 and served loyally on the Custodial Services crew during his time at Warren Wilson. He was hired upon graduation to serve as a Custodial Services crew supervisor and has been an inspiration and mentor to many students during these years of supervision.

Thomas Belmore

Thomas Belmore graduated from Warren Wilson College in 2012 and served on the Writing Center crew and Custodial Services crew while he was a student. He was also hired upon graduation to serve as a Custodial Services crew supervisor. Thomas has served as a QEP fellow and has used the work of his crew to study equity in the workplace.

Bill Baunack

Bill Baunack has been employed as Custodial Services crew supervisor since 2000. He is a devoted fisherman and a nurturing and caring community member, often hosting fish fries for the community.

Learning Outcomes

You’ll spend years working alongside your peers and mentored by supervisors. Part of the experience of work at Warren Wilson is guided critical reflection, which helps ensure that you achieve both your own educational goals as well as our Common Learning Outcomes. These intentional learning outcomes distinguish our work program, giving it focus and relevancy that set it apart from federal work study or your average part-time job. Specifically, our Common Learning Outcomes are:

  • Dependability: reliability, accountability, and the ability to successfully manage your time
  • Integrity: trustworthiness and respect for transparent honesty
  • Initiative: self-control, the ability to evaluate situations, and motivation to carry out responsibilities
  • Analytical Thinking: working with available resources to creatively address issues and solve problems
  • Communication: the ability to convey information effectively and build community with others
  • Collaboration: collaborate with peers to achieve common goals
  • Appreciation of the Value of All Work: an understanding of your place in the working world, and a respect for the dignity of all work

Learning and Performance Goals

In addition to our Common Learning Outcomes, each crew in the Work Program identifies crew-specific goals for learning and performance. These are reviewed with you each semester. The Learning and Performance Goals outline skills and abilities the supervisor will teach during the semester.