The AIA Corporate Architects and Facility Management (CAFM) Knowledge Community consists of architects working within and for businesses and corporations. Our mission is to share expertise in the strategic, tactical, and operational activities of real property and facilities management in order to deliver value to the owners we represent.
With many of you in the Corporate Architect or Facility Management sector of our profession, do you foresee challenges when it comes to retaining and recruiting additional help or finding a successor? To that end, what do you (or the companies you serve) see as the most challenging, and what seems to be working for you?
The CAFM Knowledge Community awarded two scholarships about four years ago. Since then, AIA funding of these scholarships has discontinued. It is up the each Knowledge Community to explore and determine the most effective (and feasible) way to encourage or spark interest in their sector of the profession. Maybe it is story-telling....or your suggested importance of college connections?
If some of our CAFM members already have a connection with these Colleges and Universities (especially those that have programs that promote or prepare students with an interest in a CAFM or non-traditional career path), we can benefit by hearing from you. What has been tried (speaking to students at the colleges, job shadowing, career fairs, internships, etc.)?....and what seems to be working?
Bob Hartig AIA
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It makes a lot of sense to connect with various corporations....a question may be "when". Some larger corporations, with licensed architects who are able to support an IDP program, would surely benefit from sponsoring a CAFM scholarship program....and recruiting talent right out of school. For many CAFM Architects, I suspect that IDP requirements for licensure led them to start out in a more traditional practice, and pursuing an interest or finding a niche in the CAFM side of the profession may have come sometime around or after licensure.
It would be interesting to hear from CAFM members on "when" they chose a CAFM career path.
Easy question #1: Before licensure?.....or After licensure?
Easy question #2: Did you have an interest in a CAFM career path as a student? Yes....or....No
If we get enough responses, we could tally and share results.....which may be of interest to many of you!
Director of Facilities and Plant Operations
Medical Associates Clinic
1000 Langworthy Street
Dubuque, Iowa 52001
The majority of architects who I know are Corporate Architects have often moved into the position from general practice. I am not aware of university programs with an emphasis in programs which leads this field.
William M. Reeves, AIA
Marmon Mok Architecture
700 N. St. Mary's, # 1600
San Antonio, TX 78205
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No one at my University in the late 70's knew anything about Corporate Architects. My senior year, my uncle who owned a masonry company was working on major project in New York City. He told me that at the job conference meetings the design firm architect attended and the Corporate Architect who represented the company who would own the building attended. That spring Armstrong World Industries was interviewing on my Campus and went to see what it was all about. They made me an offer with a salary, benefits and pension. I accepted the job and worked for the for 12 years become a Senior Architect in the company before leaving. I learn many management skills related to project cost, schedule, and quality that I still use today. Not ever architectural graduate is a designer!
Keith G. Falco, A.I.A., NCARB
Principal Architect, Industrial Market Sector
1853 William Penn Way
PO Box 10368
Lancaster, PA 17605
T: (717) 205-4293
C: (717) 368.1198
Check us out at www.bucharthorn.com
Thank you to those who have joined the conversation so far....your feedback is helpful....and not surprising.
We are learning that for many (not all), a CAFM career path came sometime after licensure. And, as students, a CAFM career path was really an unknown. Feedback also suggests that CAFM knowledge, experience, and expertise is something that we have gained over a longer career run. This tends to support that the past AIA CAFM student scholarship program may not have been an effective way to advance CAFM interest or to tell our story.....so....any ideas on a more effective way to do that?
Thank you for your responses to "Striking a relevant CAFM conversation#1"!
Many comments, stories, and snapshots of interesting and positive career experiences! We are learning that we have a lot of AIA CAFM members with a pretty broad range of experience and expertise! Maybe it is the story-telling that is the best way to invite and promote interest in a CAFM career path.
Let's create a collection of "brief" one-liners (career observations and advice from our CAFM members) tied to various aspects of our CAFM careers? Maybe these comments would be a great way to better "connect" with each other, our fellow professionals, and our emerging professionals; and the top five or so in each (eventual) category can become part of an electronic CAFM brochure for college and university students as well as content on our CAFM website!
OK, there are around 6000 AIA CAFM members......so do spill your guts!.....would love to hear from you!
If you are on board, let's challenge ourselves to 10 words or less....and start with.....
What have you found to be the most rewarding or exciting element of your CAFM career path? (changing the "subject line" above so we can keep your responses sorted out by question/topic!)