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News & Press: Technical

Who is Taking Care of the Building?

Friday, September 28, 2018  

Has anyone not noticed the increasing level of difficulty that exists in obtaining entry level and experienced building engineers?

There are a great number of statistics out there that validate the existence of this issue.  For every 5 building engineers that are leaving the industry, only 1 is entering and there is a large majority of building engineers in our local area and nation-wide that will be at retirement age within the next 10 years.  If we haven’t already, we need to ask ourselves, who is going to be qualified to keep these multi-million dollar properties mechanically operational? 

AAFAME feels that it is a responsibility for organizations such as ours, to take action against this approaching crisis.  With that thought in mind AAFAME has created a Career Outreach Task Force with the mission of attracting individuals to this industry and help them get some minimal skills that would jump start them into a career.  Being able to get an interested person a minimal set of skills was identified by the task force as an area where much help is needed from our industry.  The task force is developing a general criteria for such a program and although the intent is not for AAFAME to implement or monitor it, we want to promote, if not encourage it, as a means of addressing the issue.

The approach to this need is creating what we are calling an “apprenticeship” or possibly an “advanced paid apprentice”.  Regardless of what you call it, the plan is a request of property management companies to participate in the development of future building engineers.  Yes, there are staffing structure considerations and budget guideline considerations and there will more than likely be a need for some creative structuring of both to be able to do this.  Certainly a modification of the way these areas have been approached in the past.  To participate in this effort, please contact the chair persons of the task force, currently Tom Emerson of CertaPro Painters and Katie Findahl of BG Talent.

When considering this request, I would encourage everyone to be looking ahead and to ask the previously stated question.  Who is going to be qualified to keep these multi-million dollar properties mechanically operational?    

 Thank you.

Joe McLaughlin, AAFAME President

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