Property managers handle the maintenance of rental buildings and grounds, work to resolve tenant issues, and take care of finances associated with the property. This work can include repairing equipment, painting, electrical work, and HVAC maintenance, among other tasks. Careers in property management can include management of small stand-alone apartment buildings or working for management companies that oversee maintenance of large commercial or industrial properties.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, jobs in property management should grow by seven percent from 2018 to 2028, while the Handbook predicts job growth of six percent over the same period for general maintenance workers. Property maintenance can be a strong fit for YouthBuild graduates, with a good salary relative to education level, task variety, autonomy, flexibility in job location, and room for advancement. This specialized pathway offers:
- strong entry-level jobs into a career, with opportunities for advancement into trades such as HVAC, electrical, and plumbing, as well as into management positions;
- multiple entry points to fit the needs of YouthBuild graduates at various stages of career readiness;
- an average annual salary of $36,000-45,000 (Median salary is $38,000, with a high end up to $60,000); and
- an industry that weathers economic downturns, as maintenance work is always needed.
Under the active and creative direction of Executive Director Lynn Rippy, YouthBuild Louisville has developed a property maintenance career pathway that is completing its second successful year of placement with five alumni placements to date. Trainees complete the HBI PACT Core Curriculum before transitioning into a six-week training course based around the HBI PACT Unit, “Building Construction Technology,” which is facilitated by the program’s major partners, Winterwood and LDG Development.
YouthBuild Louisville works to prepare the participants with the skills needed to succeed, including the following:
- Troubleshooting – The ability to problem-solve, such as determining the cause of equipment malfunction, is essential for apartment technicians.
- General trade skills – Maintenance workers need handyman skills to make general repairs, such as window and door replacements, wall patching, or for basic plumbing and electrical fixes.
- Physical endurance – The job of an apartment maintenance technician is physically strenuous and requires the ability to stand, lift, climb, bend, push, pull, and kneel.
- Communication skills – Apartment maintenance technicians need healthy interpersonal and communication skills to communicate solutions to apartment residents and follow up on repairs.
- Organizational skills – The ability to keep track of multiple work orders and repairs, while prioritizing emergencies, is essential for apartment maintenance technicians.
- Engaging employer partners in the program design, curriculum, and work experience
- Understanding the strengths and challenges faced by YouthBuild graduates and how to create a welcoming and successful workplace for graduates
- Maintaining clear communication and follow-up to ensure graduate success
The elements of a strong work experience for participants include:
- specific and meaningful tasks: drywall replacement, residential plumbing, commercial plumbing, basic electrical tasks, flooring repair and replacement, cabinetry;
- providing mentorship as participants transition into working with Winterwood; and
- supervision and clarity on how the YouthBuild staff and Winterwood overlap (or don’t) to set and maintain expectations and provide necessary supports for a successful transition from YouthBuild to the work experience and placement.
Check out two new webcasts detailing this pathway now available on WorkforceGPS. In the first, Opportunities in Apartment Maintenance: an Industry Overview, Daryl Wright interviews Sarah Cozewith and Maureen Lambe of the National Apartment Association Education Institute on how to obtain industry-recognized certificates in apartment maintenance. On the second webcast, Opportunities in Apartment Maintenance: How YouthBuild Louisville is Creating an Apprenticeship Pathway, YouthBuild alumni DeMarcus Keene joined CEO/President Lynn Rippy to share his reasons for pursuing this career pathway, how the experience of YouthBuild and the apprenticeship program prepared him for placement in apartment maintenance, his career advancement since placement, and his future goals with this career pathway.