There’s a commercial real estate talent crisis. We can address it by promoting careers in property management engineering and maintenance.
“We have these big, beautiful office buildings to run and manage and without bright, talented, energetic, educated, enthusiastic individuals we just simply cannot do it.”
Kathy Barnes, Akridge
“It’s something we have been trying to do for years on our own… to find the exact way to bring people into this industry to help them understand what the building engineering field is all about.”
Justin Norton, The RMR Group
There’s plenty of growth in the industry in this region. In our buildings, we are struggling to find new leaders to step up.”
Jimmy Stiles, Chief Engineer, JBG Smith
Here’s how we solve the talent crisis, together.
With a significant number of senior-level executives reaching retirement age within the next five years, and with increased competition for skilled labor particularly from the construction industry, the Foundation’s work is considered critical by its stakeholders. We want to show that a career in building engineering is a stable, enjoyable and fulfilling option for candidates of various professional backgrounds, including construction workers, veterans, and those without four-year degrees. The AOBA Education Foundation (AEF) is working to address the regional workforce development challenge — a critical shortage of skilled workers for the Washington, DC area’s robust commercial real estate industry, particularly in building engineering and operations.
By launching our signature internship program, we’ve been able to offer local high school, trade school and community college students paid work experience in the trades, with the region’s most prestigious commercial real estate companies, including the 16 generous sponsors who stepped up to host 25 interns selected for our 2019 program.
The AEF was formed with a critical goal: to address the commercial real estate industry’s growing regional workforce problem. By promoting building engineering, operations and maintenance careers in a new way, we can access an entirely new pool of potential interns, partners and sponsors. To accomplish this goal, we are working with partner institutions to introduce skilled trade students to career opportunities at AEF through career fairs, building tours, and mentors/industry speakers.
The Skills Gap in Building Engineering, Operations and Maintenance
There are 800,000 individuals in the DMV who hold only a high school degree — it’s our mission to make sure they and other qualified residents are aware of the lucrative opportunities that a career in building operations can provide. From an industry survey conducted in 2016, we discovered that this lack of awareness — combined with competition from other skilled trade industries, and the stigma of pursuing a career that doesn’t require a college degree — all contributed to our industry’s regional workforce crisis.
What You Can Gain from Investing in AEF
While industry organizations have addressed hiring and education needs, we noticed that only a limited amount of thought leadership existed on the region’s demand for highly skilled building engineers. By investing in AEF, you’re supporting the creation of a pipeline of skilled trade workers to meet the growing demands of the commercial real estate industry; not only will your investment provide paid, hands-on training to the next generation of building engineers, you’ll also be supporting lifelong learning opportunities for industry veterans.
Together we’ll strengthen the regional economy and provide the resources to give the most talented trade workers in the Washington, DC area a fulfilling and lucrative career — all without having to incur the sacrifices of a four-year college degree.
Funding the Future
The first year of AEF’s Internship Program was a resounding success, with seven interns graduating — but this is just the beginning. With your support, we can help the next generation discover the possibilities of a career in building engineering, and help partners discover the benefits of promoting AEF in the classroom. By funding our program as a sponsor, you’re creating opportunities for education, training and advancement, building the future of our industry, and fueling our region’s economy. For information about investing in the AEF’s critical work, download details on Sponsorship Levels and Benefits or contact Interim Executive Director Marc Fischer.