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San Bernardino County has experienced tremendous growth this cycle across asset classes, and it is driving an increased demand for quality facilities managers. Putting more pressure on the demand, fewer people are pursuing careers in facilities management. The average age of facilities managers is currently 49 years old, and by 2032, half of the current facilities management workforce will be retired. As a result, there is a looping gap in facilities manager talent. To subvert a potential labor shortage in this area, San Bernardino County, Chaffey College and the IFMA Foundation have launched the first accredited facilities management program at Chaffey College to help encourage people into the field.

“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.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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