Careers: The IFMA Foundation Today – Workplace Workforce Initiative

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By Jeff Tafel

Edition 3 – June 2014 Pages 39

Tags: facilities management • careers

As Diane Colese desribes on the oppposite page, the Foundation is currently embarking on a regional Workplace Workforce Initiative to develop comprehensive strategies for creating an FM ‘pipeline’ of the next generation of FM professionals. This Initiative is aimed at high schools and early college undeclared students to further the Foundation’s goal of positioning FM as a career of choice. We’re funding new programs right now to make this a reality and will be convening educational institutions, businesses, government agencies, FM vendors and economic development groups to determine specific actions to make FM a career of choice in key regions. Our ongoing programs continue:


Our Accredited Degree Program Initiative has created degree opportunities for more than 2,000 FM students at 27 colleges and universities in eight countries, increasing more than 150% since 2008. The Foundation’s FM Accreditation Commission standard for FM degrees ensures that colleagues and universities are equipping students to meet the demands of our rapidly evolving profession.

For the profession to reach the top-of-mind awareness necessary for FM to become a career of choice, it is essential to increase the number of college graduates with FM degrees. A strong accreditation program for degrees in Facility Management is key for the profession’s future.


Over the past two years, the IFMA Foundation has awarded more than $300,000 to 75 deserving undergraduate and graduate level FM students. Student awards include both a scholarship towards the pursuit of an FM degree and fully paid travel and attendance at IFMA’s annual World Workplace conference. Since 1991, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 million to hundreds of aspiring FM professionals.We have redesigned our FM e-Poster competition for 2014 to have greater reach worldwide and are currently accepting applications for the annual International Student of the Year competition.


Work on the Move: Driving Strategy and Change in Workplaces was released in 2011 to universal critical acclaim. Industry-wide interest led to the 2012 Workplace Strategy Summit at Cornell University, gathering FM thought leaders, academics, FM professionals and students to examine future workplace strategies and trends. The follow-up Summit in conjunction with the University College London is the subject of this issue of Work&Place.

The Foundation recently released Benchmarking for Facility Professionals, a free guide to making informed decisions on benchmarking. In addition, the Foundation is presently developing the methodology for a longitudinal study of the demographics of the FM profession and the anticipated FM workforce gap over the coming decade and beyond.


For more than two decades, hundreds of IFMA members, chapters, councils, corporate sponsors, private contributors and other people and organizations have generously supported the IFMA Foundation, a charitable organization, separate from IFMA, which is dedicated to the facility management (FM) profession and FM workforce development. Foundation donors view academics, FM workforce development and research as critical strategies in enhancing the FM profession – making FM a career of choice.

The IFMA Foundation relies entirely on private support to carry out its mission and receives no funding from IFMA membership dues. Through their generosity, IFMA donors demonstrate that they care about the future of the FM profession and, moreover, all who enter the facilities in their care.W&P

All those with an interest in the development of facilities management are invited to take part at

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