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    Talent Gap Looms for Quality Facilities Managers
    October 5, 2018

    “San Bernardino County has experienced an outstanding amount of new development,” Soua Vang, economic development manager at San Bernardino County Economic Development Agency, tells GlobeSt.com. “For example, CBRE noted in its 2Q Inland Empire industrial report that new completions reached 12.8 million square feet over the last quarter, with year-to-date positive net absorption reaching over 10.2 million square feet. As new facilities in all property types come on line, the demand for facilities managers will also continue to increase.  So we need a skilled talent pool to handle new building demands. Today’s facility management professional plays a critical role not just in the day-to-day disciplines but also integrating strategic duties such as employee development, finance as well technology management to ensure functionality of a built environment.”

    In 2016, there were 3,200 job openings for facilities managers, but only 30 individuals that had formal facilities management training, according to Vang. “San Bernardino County is excited to be the first-ever California Facility Management program designed to meet this growing demand,” she explains. “To launch the program in San Bernardino County, Chaffey College’s Dean reached out to their business students and in its first year 22 students completed the facilities management coursework. Several students have already done internships and have been hired as facility managers. The 2018-2019 school year marks the start of the program’s second year with 25 new students enrolled.”

    There are plenty of reasons why one would want to enter the industry, not the least of which is that the median salary is $91,000. There are also specialization options that allow for growth within the profession. “As a supporting program to the accreditation, in January of this year, the student International Facilities Management Association chapter was launched at Chaffey College as well with 32 student members,” adds Vang.

    Despite the benefits, there is a shortage of people entering the profession. Vang attributes the shortage to both demographics as well as a lack of awareness about the profession.  “Boomers are retiring and there is a lack of new talent to replace them. This is not just impacting the facilities management industry. There are many industries that are experiencing a “graying” of their workforce,” she says. “Also unique to this profession is that few people are aware it exists. For many years, people discovered it on their own. Now, there are educational programs that are beginning to support development of a highly skilled facilities management workforce that is ready to handle all of the sustainability trends and smart building technologies that are part of the facilities management profession.”

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