NORTHBROOK, IL — The Australian-based Specialized Cleaning & Restoration Industry Association (SCRIA) will merge with ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, in a “mutually beneficial” arrangement, according to a press release.

SCRIA members recently voted on the merger, which will provide the association with the ISSA Oceania division’s resources via the Botany, Australia, management office. In addition, the merger allows for members to maintain SCRIA membership at the local level while gaining ISSA membership benefits including enhanced market exposure, networking opportunities, business tools and data, expanded training and education, and industry information.

“Following an emergency general meeting on June 1, SCRIA is proud to announce this merger and become a part of ISSA,” SCRIA President Gidon Kabaker said in the release. “This is the step forward that SCRIA and its members needed. The carpet care and restoration industry is going through a very challenging time now, and we need to band together to bring about change toward a self-regulated industry. I believe our merger with ISSA will help us achieve that.

“SCRIA board members are committed to working closely with ISSA Oceania Manager Kim Taranto  and see this as a fantastic opportunity to contribute positively to the value our members receive and to the carpet and restoration industry overall.”

The association already has commissioned ISSA’s staff to provide administrative support, which began on June 5. Transition of support from the former office to the ISSA Oceania office will take place over the next few weeks

“The merger with SCRIA represents an exciting step toward fulfilling ISSA’s mission to change the way the world views cleaning — particularly in our recently established Oceania region,” John Barret, ISSA executive director, said in the release. “We are delighted and proud to partner with SCRIA members to help them achieve their bigger-picture goals to bring about progress within their industry.”

ISSA Europe, Middle East, Africa and Oceania Services Director Dianna Steinbach said the partnership is a testament to ISSA’s goal as the industry’s umbrella association.

“The value that the carpet and restoration sectors bring to this industry is unmistakable,” Steinbach said. “We are proud to help make a difference for companies that have put in the effort to align themselves with a professional body, drive increase in industry standards and professionalism, and be a part of something bigger.”

The merger will include a calendar of events schedule  offering regional meetings and increased training workshops throughout the year along with an update of the SCRIA website.

“With power in numbers and a professional management staff assisting us with operations, the SCRIA board and its members will be able to achieve so much more,” reiterated Kabaker. “This opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time.”