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facility operator regional groups

operations field, and discussions

have the opportunity to specialize in

started popping up in the North

were had on the best way to deliv-

only their desired field. For example,

and Northwest suburbs of Chicago.

er a consistent form of profession-

the custodial supervisor who only

These leaders got together to dis-

al development where all facility

wants to expand his or her knowl-

cuss facility operations and support

directors, new and seasoned, had

edge in custodial operations can

one another on a monthly basis.

the opportunity to share the same

choose to take only the Essentials

Through these meetings, it became


of Custodial Operations along with

evident that there was a thirst for

It was also sug gested that a

the Essentials of Facilities Manage-

professional growth in the facility

new program could be developed

ment to earn their designation for

operations field.

using the Illinois Association of

the completion of the training.

A group of leaders from the

School Boards book, Good School

Individuals who choose to take

Lake County Facility Group and

Maintenance, a manual of pro-

all of the training earn the des-

t he Nor t her n C ent ra l I l l i noi s

grams and procedures for build-

ignation of Facilities Operations

Facility Professionals group met

ings, grounds and equipment, as


to explore the possibility of Illinois

its basis for the course offerings.

Currently the Illinois ASBO

ASBO collaborating with an out-

Edited by James B. Fritts, the book

plan is to offer the Essentials of

side organization that had a facil-

consists of four sections: Essen-

Facilities Management twice per

ity operations training program

tials of Good School Maintenance;

year and the other programs one

with industry merit and a testing

Cleaning and General Building

time per year. This way individuals

feature that validated the learn-

Services; Maintaining the Build-

can earn their designations within

ing. This group interviewed and

ing and Equipment; and School

a one-year period. This is a marked

reviewed programs from multiple

Grounds and Maintenance.

improvement from the original des-

organizations and settled on two

The Facility Operations Pro-

ignation program, where it could

programs offered by the Associa-

grams is comprised of the four

take up to five years to complete

tion of Facility Engineers (AFE).

sections of Good School Mainte-

that designation, depending on the

Those programs are the Cer ti-

nance, and the manual is used as

availability of professional develop-

fied Plant Maintenance Manager

the source material for instruction.

ment opportunities.

(CPMM) and Certified Plant Super-

The four courses of professional

visor (CPS) programs. These inter-

development are:

nationally recognized programs provided excellent information to the seasoned facility operations manager. AFE requires a minimum number of years of facility management experience to join their organization. The programs offered by AFE


• Essentials of Facilities Management, • Essentials of Maintenance Operations, • Essentials of Grounds Operations, and • Essentials of Custodial

October 2016 was the first offering of Essentials of Facilities Management, and in December 2016 the first group earned the designation in Maintenance Operations with the completion of the Essentials of Maintenance Operations. January 2017 is the offering for the Essentials of Grounds Oper-


ations, while Essentials of Custo-

are excellent, but a gap still exist-

The program was built so that

dial Operations will be offered in

ed in supplying new and seasoned

desig nations can be ear ned in

veterans of facility operations with

maintenance operations, grounds

More in for mation on the

a program that was consistent and

operations, or custodial operations.

Facilities Management Designa-

thorough in its training in actual

Each person wishing to complete a

t ion P ro g ra m c a n b e fou nd at

school district operations. Again,

designation completes Essentials of

meetings were held w ith lead-

Facility Management prior to earn-


ers in the school district facility

ing their full designation, but they


April 2017.


The Illinois School Board Journal, January/February 2017