Building Service Workers Award Honoree Jean Rosa: Playing Cleanup on Broadway

Jean Rosa sweeps and mops up rehearsal spaces for major productions

18 Nov 2019 | 12:21

Jean Rosa, 35, has the inside scoop on Broadway, though he’s actually not a huge showbiz fan. He’s been a cleaner at New 42nd Street Studios for more than six years. The organization provides rehearsal spaces to various productions, including “Hamilton,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Phantom of the Opera.” “After the day's finished rehearsing at 6:30, 7:00 we start cleaning the studios, like sweeping, mopping, cleaning mirrors, bathrooms. Sometimes we got to scrub the floors, buffing,” he says. Rosa had a friend who worked there who helped him get the job.

Rosa likes his roughly seven coworkers and says they’re “like a family.” He was instrumental in bringing his workplace into 32BJ. His coworkers are grateful for his activism and giving them access to all the union has to offer. Rosa also likes taking classes at the union, including plastering, locksmithing and electrical work. Before coming to New 42nd Street Studios, Rosa worked at City Storage for several years, and he dabbled in security and patient services.

Rosa was born in Puerto Rico but came to New York City with his family when he was nine. They landed in Brooklyn, where he still lives. When he’s not at work, Rosa likes hanging out and listening to music with his non-work family — his sisters, his aunt, and his four nieces and three nephews. He also enjoys kicking back with a murder mystery show like “Breaking Bad” or “The Ozarks.”

Jean Rosa likes his roughly seven coworkers and says they’re “like a family.”