Finding apartment workers

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The multi-family housing industry (a term that includes apartments, condos, and possibly hippie communes) has a problem: over the next four years, it will need 100,000 new property managers, maintenance personnel, and other workers to fill its labor demand.

Doug Culkin, EVP of the National Apartment Assoc-iation, has found a way to put a dent in that deficit. The NAA Education Institute, recently spun off from NAA, is developing a curriculum with colleges and vocational guidance associations to train its future workforce.              

At his Arlington digs, Doug told us the  Institute has teamed with Virginia Tech, Ball State, the University of North Texas, and five other schools that now offer BAs in property management.

About 200 grads get the degree each year, with Virginia Techs class of 50 or so leading the pack.  NAA members like Equity Residential and Archstone Trust provide scholarships and internships for many of the students.

The best part? Doug says program grads have a 99.9% chance of landing a job before they even finish school, with many of them reaching six-figure incomes within two-three years of graduation. (Clearly we chose the wrong degreesigh.) 

Beyond the employment shortage, Doug says government relations is the top concern of NAAs 51,000 individual members.

A big slice of the associations $15 million in revenue goes toward lobbying, but on the state level. Doug says that since all states have been in the red the last few years, theyve imposed particularly burdensome taxes on apartment-unit owners. The NAAs affiliate offices in 46 states and DC keep members abreast of legislative activity.

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