When you’re a superintendent or a member of a building’s support staff, your educational background is not always that important when you’re hired, as long as your experience is enough to impress those doing the hiring. But once you do have the job, most industry professionals suggest that continuing your education is an important step in continuing to be successful.
Someone hired 20, 10 or even as little as five years ago has seen many technological advancements and the evolution of building systems and practices. To keep a building running smoothly and efficiently, it’s vital that building staff members keep their skills current in order to keep pace. Luckily, there are numerous options for furthering one’s education in New York that will help supers, handypersons, and other building staff members learn new skills, use new technology, and improve their overall work performance.
“Education never hurts anyone,” says Curt Bergeest, vice president of the New York Superintendents Technical Association (STA). “If you are a porter or doorman and you want to move up and become a superintendent, you are going to have to go through certain stages. But even if you just want to learn some skills or improve some things so you can help your building, there are numerous classes available to help.”
There is no shortage of classes and certification courses offered throughout the city. Everything from air pollution control to standpipe and sprinkler systems to fire safety director certifications to greening buildings are taught along with basic principles of building maintenance.
According to Linda Nelson, director of the Local 32BJ Thomas Shortman Training Fund—the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) educational training and professional development program—three types of courses are offered for their union workers—categorized as industry, computer and academic.