The AOBA Educational Foundation (AEF), a 501(c)(3) organization, was incorporated
in 2017 for the purpose of promoting the education of individuals seeking to pursue careers in the building industry in the Washington, DC region.
Initially, efforts will focus on the critical need to promote careers in commercial property management engineering and maintenance. The Foundation’s key stakeholders are property management and engineering executives who manage commercial real estate in the Washington, DC area.
With a significant number of senior-level executives reaching retirement age within the next five years, and with increased competition for skilled labor particularly from the construction industry, the Foundation’s work is considered critical by its stakeholders.
Watch this brief video to learn more about career opportunities in the building engineering industry.
How You Can Help
The AOBA Education Foundation is undertaking a fundraising campaign to develop solutions that address the regional workforce development challenge — a critical shortage of skilled workers for its robust commercial real estate industry, particularly in building engineering and operations.
As a solution, we have launched our signature internship program, which offers students paid summer employment with some of the region’s most prestigious commercial real estate companies. More funding is needed to grow this and other planned initiatives.
We invite you to be a part of the solution by investing funding and support to help grow our program–making an impact on the region’s workforce and economy. This is a win-win for residents in the region who are seeking meaningful careers – without the need to incur the costs of a four-year college degree, and for property management professionals who are seeking qualified employees to work in building engineering and maintenance.
For the region’s real estate industry to succeed, we must work collaboratively with our educational institutions to resolve this workforce development challenge. The AOBA Educational Foundation is uniquely positioned to help bridge the gap between businesses who need qualified employees and students who need good jobs with strong potential for advancement.
AEF received IRS approval of its request for 501(c)(3)status in mid-July and our first major contribution from Washington Gas in August of 2018.
To make a tax-deductible contribution to the AOBA Educational Foundation, or to learn more, please contact any member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, or email
Board of Directors
The Foundation is guided by a volunteer Board of Directors. Board members for 2018 are:
- President: Kathy Barnes | Senior Vice President | Akridge
- Vice President: William (Bill) Clark | Vice President, Operations | Blake Real Estate
- Secretary: Justin Norton | Area Director – Engineering | The RMR Group
- Treasurer: Diane Peters | Vice President and Senior General Manager | JLL
- Member-at-Large: Pam Haberstroh | Executive Director | National Association of Power Engineers Educational Foundation
- Member-at-Large: Sarah Levine | Director, Workforce Development | National Apartment Association Education Institute
- Member-at-Large: Margaret “Peggy” Jeffers | Executive Vice President | Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington
Foundation Programs for 2018
As a key program in its first year, the Foundation developed a well-designed and well-managed internship program – offered as a pilot project this past summer. The program was aimed to:
- Continuously solicit feedback from the various constituencies (including property management companies in the region and educational institutions – initially community colleges in the Washington, DC area.) Based upon feedback received, the Foundation seeks to adjust the program over time to ensure it continues to meet the needs of member companies and job seekers.
- Develop a framework for a structured internship program – as well as whatever collateral materials are required to support such a program. The goal of the program is to make it easy for the member companies to hire community college/ vocational school students to explore engineering opportunities in the DC area.
In addition to the Internship program, the Foundation will partner with educational institutions in the Washington, DC region on programs such as the following:
- Sponsor “field trips” for potential candidates to visit AOBA member buildings and to experience “A Day in the Life of a Building Engineer”
- Exhibit at local career fairs that are likely to attract an audience of potential engineering/ operations candidates
- Endow scholarships each year to support students to take continuing industry education courses and certification classes
- Create a mentorship program to ensure those who receive our scholarships have the best opportunity to remain in the building engineering field for the long-term