INSIDE T his article will discuss the increasing skilled talent gap in a wide variety of positions across the commercial real estate industry. If you’re a member of the baby boomer genera- tion, this article may sound a bit like a broken record – and you are likely in the dwindling populace that under- stands what that reference means. It is hardly a surprise, as many have predicted the current talent gap for at least one decade, perhaps two. It’s also no secret that baby boomers have reached retirement age, with many actually retiring, and we have not done an adequate job of attracting new generations of skilled workers to take their place. This dialogue is not about assessing blame, but rather about what we can do to close the gaps. We know that the college experience is not for everyone and not all living- wage jobs require a degree. So why are we struggling to identify and attract those individuals who are not inter- ested in pursuing a degree yet are willing to put in the effort to make a decent living? There are many societal and generational factors influencing this talent gap that likely will be studied by social scientists for years to come. But what can we do here and now? Let me offer an example that may provide insights for others to follow. The facilities management profes- sion is one of the many real estate positions struggling to attract the next generation of professionals. As workforce development tends to be a hyper-local activity, the Denver chap- ter of the International Facilities Man- agement Association embarked on an effort to identify workforce resource opportunities within the Denver metro area. As a starting point, a member of the chapter reached out to its Denver City Council representative to solicit advice and assistance. That outreach led to meetings with Denver’s Office of Economic Development & Oppor- tunity. While Denver had many work- force development efforts in progress, the facility management profession was not on its radar. After exploring the job growth potential in the area, DEDO agreed to fund a pilot program to train a small cohort of individuals representing underserved communi- ties in the Essentials of Facilities Man- agement in conjunction with a paid work experience opportunity. This program was conducted through the IFMA Foundation, which leads facility management education and work- force development efforts on behalf of IFMA. The successful pilot program launched eight individuals on the path to a new career. During the course of this pilot pro- gram, the IFMA Foundation learned One of a manager’s most important roles is understanding and enforcing the lease Lease language Smart technology requires integration that is designed with the users in mind Tech integration PAGE 16 Composting, recycling and electrification are all becoming higher priorities BOMA update Please see Staffing, Page 25 July 2022 PAGES 22-24 PAGE 6 Dean Stanberry, CFM, LEED AP O+M First vice chair, Global board of directors, International Facilities Management Association, and chapter member, IFMA Denver Grasping for talent: The struggle to fill jobs The facilities management profession is one of the many real estate positions struggling to attract the next generation of professionals. As workforce development tends to be a hyper-local activity, the Denver chapter of the International Facilities Management Association embarked on an effort to identify workforce resource opportunities within the Denver metro area.