Press Releases

New AOBA Foundation Tackles the Talent Crisis for Skilled Trades

Washington, DC – Recruiting, training, and retaining building operations employees is widely believed to be one of the most significant challenges facing the commercial real estate industry today. For more than a decade, local property managers have grappled – to various degrees of success – with the daunting challenge to recruit, hire, and train workers for lucrative careers in building engineering, operations, and maintenance.

AOBA Educational Foundation (AEF) Focuses on Workforce Challenge

During the summer of 2018, the AOBA Educational Foundation (AEF) received its official 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. The organization’s mission is to develop a comprehensive solution that will eventually “solve” this workforce development problem throughout the Washington, DC Metro area. With the active participation of AOBA member firms and a volunteer Board of Directors, the Foundation is working to cultivate relationships with key stakeholders. Through its efforts, the AEF is now “connecting the dots” between several constituencies to:

  • Educate potential job seekers about careers in the commercial building operations field
  • Through its summer internship program, develop a pipeline of qualified individuals who are interested in exploring this career path
  • Provide options for military veterans, career changers, and other “non-traditional” candidates to pursue a career in the field
  • Provide pathways for qualified individuals to obtain training from a variety of sources over all stages of their careers
  • Leverage opportunities available through public and private workforce development programs as a way of reaching a larger number of job seekers
  • Link qualified job seekers to potential employers

Initial Funding Allows Program Expansion; Fundraising Campaign Launched

The AOBA Educational Foundation recently received two substantial leadership donations that will help fund scholarships for industry education and expand the services it provides in 2019 (and beyond):

  • Washington Gas pledged a total of $1.75 million over seven years as our inaugural Cornerstone Partner
  • David S. Bender, Chairman of Blake Real Estate, Inc., donated $100,000 as our inaugural Building Partner

The Foundation is actively working to secure additional funding from a variety of different public and private donors at these levels:

  • Cornerstone Partner – $250,000 annual donation
  • Building Partner – $100,000 annual donation
  • Leader – $25,000 annual donation
  • Investor – $10,000 annual donation
  • Team Member – $5,000 annual donation
  • Small Business Member – $1,500 annual donation for three years

The AOBA Educational Foundation (AEF), a 501(c)(3) organization, was incorporated in 2017 for the purpose of promoting the education of individuals seeking to pursue careers in building operations throughout the Washington, DC region. Initially, efforts are focused on the critical need to promote careers in commercial property management engineering and maintenance. (