If you’re in the military facilities field, this partnership could smooth your way into a position in the educational facilities field

by Brianna Crandall — January 15, 2018 — APPA, the organization for educational facilities professionals, and SAME, the Society of American Military Engineers, recently announced the formation of a strategic alliance between both organizations that will expand training, information and collaboration between facilities engineers, architects, operations, maintenance, and construction professionals within both the military facilities and educational campus communities.

The APPA-SAME alliance will bring support to transitioning military officers and personnel by providing access to professional development opportunities and career credentialing services within the educational facilities profession. Additionally, the alliance will support exiting military personnel in their search for career opportunities at colleges, universities, and K-12 school systems.

The partnership is an important one to the education community. Within higher education, professional opportunities in facilities are growing, as large numbers of Baby Boomer-generation facilities employees are rapidly retiring and exiting the educational facilities profession. It is projected that Boomer retirements will be the leading cause for as much as 70 percent turnover and new vacancies within the educational facilities profession over the next six to seven years.

The facilities management (FM) practice for both college and university campuses and for military installations have many similarities. Both operate much like small cities, have a diverse property and building portfolio, and contain facilities with unique operations and maintenance needs and requirements. For both military facilities and education facilities professionals, a diverse blend of FM skillsets across multiple disciplines is often required. Exiting military facilities professionals who join educational facilities organizations for their second career often remark on the striking similarities between both professions, notes APPA.

Among the projects under consideration between APPA and SAME are educational facilities career workshops, which would be held at military installations and in metro areas with a large military presence. APPA and SAME would seek the engagement of members at APPA state and local chapters and SAME’s local posts to conduct these events.

Additionally, SAME and APPA seek to offer online training and examination preparatory courses for use in acquiring either the Certified Educational Facilities Professional or the Educational Facilities Professional credential. The credentials and associated training systems developed by APPA are used by educational institutions to develop both current employees, and to find and hire new and qualified facilities management talent.

APPA Executive Vice President E. Lander Medlin stated:

Just as we are witnessing a large transition of Baby Boomers moving from educational facilities careers to retirement, APPA wishes to introduce transitioning military personnel to the life-long careers and opportunities found within the educational facilities profession. The opportunities are real. There are over 4,500 college and universities within the United States that rely on educational facilities professionals to educate the nation, produce life-saving research, and advance our quality of life. We believe our partnership with SAME will produce great results and also reward our exiting military with wonderful opportunities.

Brig. Gen. Joseph Schroedel, P.E. F.SAME (Ret) added:

Military personnel proudly serve a mission on behalf of our nation, and their training, leadership, instilled values and commitment to service is what makes them so uniquely qualified to serve the educational mission. Like the military, the mission of education is vital and so important to our nation’s security and well-being. At SAME, we believe that this alliance with APPA provides an unparalleled opportunity for our transitioning military engineers, facilities managers and building trades professionals to continue serving our nation in a rewarding and inspiring way.

APPA — Leadership in Educational Facilities, provides educational facilities professionals the tools, services and networking to build their careers, transform their institutions, and elevate the value and recognition of facilities in education, and counts more than 14,000 educational facilities professionals from 1,300 educational institutions in North America among its members. APPA provides the Leadership Academy, the Institute for Organization Management, and the Facilities Performance Indicators program, and is the recognized US producer and publisher of American National Standards for the FM industry and profession.

The Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) leads collaborative efforts to identify and resolve national security infrastructure-related challenges. Founded in 1920, SAME unites public- and private-sector individuals and organizations from across the architecture, engineering, construction, environmental and FM, cybersecurity, project planning, contracting and acquisition, and related disciplines in support of national security. SAME provides its more than 30,000 members extensive opportunities for training, education and professional development through a robust offering of conferences, workshops, networking events and publications.