While the economy is still sluggish across the country, the need for competent, qualified facility maintenance staff remains strong. Several areas of facility maintenance have shown greater growth in relation to the rest of the industry. For instance:
This recent article in Builder’s Exchange magazine notes the growing need for healthcare facility maintenance, given the aging general population which drives demand for healthcare services. While the article focuses on the economic conditions in Ohio, the same phenomenon can be seen nationwide. Specifically, author Leo Russo notes that the construction of new medical facilities in Ohio is set to almost double in the next few years. Each hospital, clinic or research facility will require trained maintenance staff to keep sophisticated patient-care systems and communications systems operating at peak efficiency. This is in addition to the standard duties of cleaning and physical maintenance required in any building.
A related area of growth that Russo notes is the need for trained equipment maintenance personnel to service “electric, steam, diesel and water power generation” in power plants that keep large facilities operating independently of city power stations. Russo mentions the critical need to train new people to supplement the aging workforce now in place.
Another area of growth in facility maintenance is highlighted by the Facility Maintenance page of the U.S. National Park Service. Like the medical facility managers cited above, NPS heads are concerned about the aging of their most skilled employees: “60% of NPS’ current supervisory facility managers will be eligible for retirement in 2015.” The need for replenishment of the aging workforce is such that the NPS has launched a recruitment and training initiative to fill facility maintenance positions with qualified personnel. Many other government agencies are facing the same shortfall.