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NFMT Day 1: News and Highlights
NFMT Day 1 Highlights
Here's a cool video from our hard-working education staff wrapping up Day 1 of NFMT.
Welcome Party's In Full Effect
(4:15 pm) After a successful first day at NFMT, it's time to kick back and relax a bit.
Knowledge Cafe 2: On FM Customer Service
(3:00 pm) Stormy Friday of The Friday Group presents a follow-up to her terrific March cover story in Building Operating Management with a Knowledge Cafe session about the state of facilities management customer service.
Knowledge Cafe: How To Survive The Skilled Labor Shortage
(1:45 pm) At NFMT this year, a new feature on the show floor is the Knowledge Cafe. Each day there are several 30-minute presentations about a specific topic. The first one of the day today was John Rimer, president of FM360, discussing strategies and tips for combating the increasing shortage of skilled labor.
Rimer offered several pieces of concrete advice for finding and growing skilled labor. As one example:
Rimer also suggested that when you find a young person interested in a career in facilities management, you have to make sure you're selling this as a strong career. That's also true in skilled trades. "You can have a blue collar job making white collar money, and you can go anywhere in the world you want," he said. Supporting younger workers in continuing education and credential is critical, as well. You have to be able to show them a career progression for which they can set goals. This is the absolute most important part of succession planning, he said. As many workers are set to retire, show the younger workers how it'll be possible and what skills they'lll need to be able to step into those positions.
Education Panel Highlights: Sustainability and Technology
(11:20 am) Our panel session with Alex Kogan of The Rockefeller University and Randolph Campbell from the University of Virginia yielded some great tips and advice for facility managers in higher education facilities.
Randolph told an anecdote about how he and his staff have taken to the practice of putting, for example, chemistry professors in engineering buildings. This results in huge cost savings because it means that if space that fits their needs is available, it shouldn't require renovating a whole office just to shoehorn them into a specific building. At first there was resistance, but then the professors realized they were better able to do cross-discipline collaboration.
Alex Kogan talked about how critical collaborative space is now. Ten to 15 years ago, they never would have considered putting a lounge in a building, but now, it's what both students and professors want. As well, such space has a health and wellness benefit because it gives teachers and students a place to relax.
New technology was also a subject of much discussion. It's not enough anymore just to make sure the WiFi is working. Campbell mentioned how careful he has to balances student and teacher wants and needs -- most teachers don't want students distracted by handheld devices in classrooms, so are still requesting traditional whiteboards and chalkboards. But for students, new technology is what they're looking for when deciding on a college, so facility managers are tasked with balancing the traditional with the new and cool.
Finally, of course, sustainability is a huge part of any higher ed facilities strategies these days. Alex Kogan talked about how important it is to make sustainability initiatives visible. At Rockefeller, the "students" are scientists and are so focused on their research, they often aren't careful with energy efficiency or recycling or any of the other most common sustainability practices. But Kogan said showing them how campus-wide sustainability initiatives benefit everyone will then, well, truly benefit everyone.
Beloit Mindset List
(8:45 am) For a panel session on how facilities are changing to meet the needs of a new generation of higher education students, we delved into the Beloit Mindset List for the class of 2022. Here are some of the more interesting things we found:
1. They are the first class born in the new millennium, escaping the dreaded label of “Millennial,” though their new designation—iGen, GenZ, etc. — has not yet been agreed upon by them.
2. They’ve grown up with stories about where their grandparents were on 11/22/63 and where their parents were on 9/11.
3. Thumbprints have always provided log in security—and are harder to lose—than a password.
4. Robots have always been able to walk on two legs and climb stairs.
5. Outer space has never been without human habitation.
6. People loudly conversing with themselves in public are no longer thought to be talking to imaginary friends.
Day 1 - Show Time
(7:30 am) Good morning, and welcome to NFMT! We'll be updating this post throughout the day with tweets, news, and interesting tidbits from our show. So check back often, or watch our twitter feed @BldgOpMgmt, or follow this year's hashtag: #NFMT19