Fred King 2013-09-21 03:27:17
A first-hand account by AFE member Fred King, Inspec Inc., about how AFE certification courses are being used to enhance maintenance management in the Midwest. In April 2000, I had the opportunity to participate in a best practices review for the Office of the Legislative Auditor for the State of Minnesota. The review focus was for the preventative maintenance of local government buildings. The technical advisory panel members included three counties, three cities, three K-12 public school districts and one engineering firm— Inspec—which I represented. There were seven items identified for effectively managing preventative maintenance of school, city and county buildings. One of the items, Enhance the Competence of Maintenance Workers and Managers, is where we found the best “bang for our buck”. The K-12 organization of directors of buildings and grounds prompted me to find the best solution for the State of Minnesota. The K-12 organization has become a leader in providing individualized, one-to-one learning solutions to students from kindergarten through high school across the country, and provides these tools and services for school districts worldwide. The certifications adopted for the group were the AFE Certified Plant Engineers (CPE) and the AFE Certified Plant Maintenance Managers (CPMM). Due to the large number of participants we soon realized that becoming self-sufficient would ensure the sustainability of these programs because we could learn to teach certification courses ourselves. Chapter 13, our local AFE chapter in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, also participated in the certification courses along with the district’s school members, and over 400 certifications were earned. The need for finding well-trained and benchmarked maintenance personnel continues to be a challenge, and AFE CPE and CPMM certificates offer the education needed to stay current and keep skills sharp. Using New Skills to Teach Others In 2011, Scott Mackell and John Fuhrer from the Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO), who were interested in our third-party credentialing and certification program, contacted me and we met to discuss the challenges and benefits of the programs. Founded in 1952, IASBO is devoted to the school business management profession and strives to promote the standards of school business administration through a multitude of benefits for every member. The association provides services to foster professional development and leadership skills and attempts to improve the quality of educational programs and services. Expert staff, members and volunteers promote the highest standard of school business administration and take pride in providing members with a comprehensive guide to the most reliable companies, services and products for schools throughout Illinois. The IASBO facilities managers’ group began the process for arranging for the classes, and the first certification course (CPMM) took place in Illinois from April 29- May 1, 2013 with five representatives from Illinois, four representatives from Minnesota K-12 and members of the State of Minnesota Chief Engineers Guild. The State of Minnesota Chief Engineers Guild represents many of the state’s agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Corrections, the Department of Veterans Administration, Minnesota State colleges and universities, and numerous other cities and counties in the state. The nine attendees all passed the CPMM certification exam and completed the “Train the Trainer” program in July. As the workforce ages, it has never been more important than it is now for industry members to share knowledge and build new skill sets needed to maintain public facilities. Unsurprisingly, educational programs are a top priority for industry leaders to help train effective mangers for public buildings. Among the important skills learned in such courses are how to manage buildings in a proactive manner and how to cope with unexpected issues that arise when managing a public facility. AFE certification and “Train the Trainer” programs are extremely important for the health and success of the facilities industry—and both seasoned veterans and newcomers to the profession will benefit greatly from these educational opportunities provided by AFE. Fred King is the director of business development for Inspec’s engineers and architects, who provide smart engineering of roofs, walls, windows, pavements and waterproofing. King has been an active member of AFE for 25 years. He has served as national vice president of education and training, vice president of marketing and communications, and currently serves on the AFE Foundation. WITH GRATITUDE FOR THEIR ASSISTANCE The northern Midwest and AFE’s Region 3 is taking a proactive approach in education, training and certification of their building managers and they would like to thank the people who have made this all possible: Jerry Hagen, CPE, FAFE, Jerry Olson, director of Region 3, Lane Pierce of Aramark, Monte Anderson, retired, Steve Nicholas, CPMM, and Wayne Saya, AFE executive director, CPE. A special thanks to Sue Bertrand, the assistant executive director of IASBO, for all her hard work. These individuals and others like them continue to give back to our industry and we, the members of Region 3, thank all who helped us prepare to send our newly certified folks out into the maintenance community. Newly Minted Trainers and Newly Certified Members The newly certified plant maintenance managers working as the trainers for IASBO are: John Fuhrer, director of buildings and grounds, North Shore School District #112; Scott R. Mackall, director of facilities management, Park Ridge Niles CMCSD #6; Ron Kay, supervisor of buildings and grounds, Grayslake CHSD #127; Kenneth Roiland, director of facilities, Woodstock CUSD #200, and Kevin Weisenberger, facilities manager, McHenry CHSD #156. These instructor/trainers are located throughout Illinois and are available to facilitate certification training. The newly certified members from Minnesota include Jim Nieswaag, Anoka Ramsey Community College and the educational program director of Minnesota’s Chief Engineers Guild; Howard Berny, Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs; Maureen Mullen, current president of the Minnesota Chief Engineers Guild and director of buildings and grounds for Rockfordarea schools #833, and Matt Miller, director of buildings and grounds Austin ISD #492. These folks have all stepped up as volunteers to lead certification programs for their organizations.
Published by Facilities Engineering Journal. View All Articles.