Community Colleges May be Hot Spots for New Hires

Next generation of facilities management employees can be found at community colleges, universities.

By Ashley Haley, Contributing Writer  

The current facilities management industry is made up of older employees, and as more employees reach retirement age, higher education institutions may be the perfect place to find new candidates. 

Community colleges and universities, across the nation, offer facilities management classes and programs to give students the skills they need to pursue careers in the industry. These institutions are also great places to find the next generation of employees to fill the upcoming vacancies. 

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For example, the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) offers an associate of applied science degree in facilities management that can lead to careers in occupational health and safety, event planning, environmental compliance inspection and supervision, according to their website. Students in the program also have the option of transferring to a bachelor’s degree program as well. 

The facilities management program allows students the opportunity to gain “the basic knowledge of construction materials, processes and systems, business management and real estate areas,” according to the CCP website. 

Paula Behrens, a CCP professor and coordinator of the facilities management programs, says design concentration students can transfer into Temple University’s four-year bachelor’s degree program. 

“You can choose the construction concentration, which leads to positions in construction management, scheduling and managing building systems,” according to the website. “The design concentration provides you with skills to enter facility management, space programmer/planner or move coordinator positions. You will be ready for entry-level positions.” 

Behrens says students now have stronger backgrounds and the digital skills that are needed in the workplace. 

Alana Dunoff, president of AFD Professional Services and Temple University's facilities management program instructor, says community college students are often more focused and have a higher level of experience, making them exceptional candidates to replace those leaving the industry. 

“My experience with community college students with associate degrees in facility management or in other built environment concentrations is when they chose to continue their education and matriculate into our Bachelor of Science program in facility management and Temple University,” Dunoff says. “Community college students often have more life experience than typical college students. I find them to be more focused and deliberate in their work and they also bring a higher level of experience, knowledge, curiosity and leadership to the classroom.” 

She says students receive a solid foundation of the built environment, including construction, facilities management and building systems. 

“To my knowledge, there are only a handful of community or technology colleges that offer facility management,” Dunoff said. 

Those institutions include the New York City College of Technology at the City University of New York, De Anza College in California, South Seattle College in Washington and Conestoga College in Canada. 

Ashley Haley is a freelance writer with Advantage Informatics.  

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  posted on 12/7/2023   Article Use Policy

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