Facility Management Program Meets Growing Demand
San Bernardino County – By 2032, 50 percent of the existing facility management workforce will have retired. The lack of enough skilled facility managers will result in buildings and infrastructure that are not managed and maintained properly creating public safety issues, increasing operating costs and lower operating efficiencies.
To solve the jobs crisis, Chaffey College, the IFMA Foundation and San Bernardino County collaborated to launch California’s first accreditation program for facilities management at Chaffey College.
“There is a tremendous need for skilled facilities managers,” said Diane Levine, executive director with the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) Foundation. “In 2016 there were 3,200 facilities manager job openings in Southern California with as few as 30 individuals who had completed formal training for the available positions.”
According to IFMA, facility management is an interdisciplinary business function that coordinates space, infrastructure, people and organization. It is often associated with the administration of office properties, arenas, schools, universities, sporting complexes, convention centers, shopping complexes, hospitals, hotels, manufacturing and shipping.
“The average manager is 49 years old. As they begin to retire over the next few years, we will experience a growing need for young professionals to enter this field. Moreover the facilities management job is evolving with the advent of smart technologies in building systems and related areas. This means that facilities managers will have even more responsibilities and specialization options. It is a very exciting time for the future of facilities management,” Levine added.
The 2018-2019 Chaffey College school year marks the start of the program’s second year with an enthusiastic 25 students enrolled. Within its first year, 22 students completed the facilities management coursework. Several students have already done internships and have been hired as facility managers.
Excitement among students is growing especially since an FM career provides for an annual median salary of approximately $91,000 a year. A new generation has now discovered that FM provides financial stability and the potential to pursue a lucrative career path. To further support the accreditation program, a student IFMA Chapter was launched at Chaffey College with 32 student members.
“The facilities management profession is a lucrative job opportunity for young people. We are increasing awareness and creating the foundation to train these much-needed workers,” said Reg Javier, San Bernardino County Deputy Executive Officer, Workforce and Economic Development. “Our County has an entire workforce system that brings together partners from the public and private sector to respond to what is needed by the business community. This initiative is an example of how we are able to meet the needs of both our businesses who need workers and young people who are seeking a career path.”
On the heels of the program’s success, the County and the IFMA Foundation plan to integrate facilities management career pathways at the high school level to introduce this opportunity to a greater number of individuals.
“We are training, growing and retaining our workforce in the County with opportunities such as these,” Javier added.
About San Bernardino County: Located at the heart of Southern California, an economy of 23 million people, San Bernardino County is the largest county in the United States. Its vast borders stretch from the greater Los Angeles area to the Nevada border and the Colorado River encompassing a total area of 20,160 square miles. Comprised of 24 cities, San Bernardino County encompasses more than two million residents with a workforce of nearly 900,000. Its assets include an innovation corridor of close to two dozen colleges and universities supporting a strong, diverse workforce along with an unparalleled collection of roadways, runways and railways that lead to regional, national and international business centers. Visit www.SBCountyAdvantage.com.