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Commercial Partners Share Workforce Programs at 2020 BOMA Virtual Conference

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 31, 2020

DOE’s Better Buildings commercial real estate (CRE) sector hosted a panel to discuss integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles into workforce development at the 2020 Virtual BOMA International Conference & Expo held in July. The session focused on how the CRE industry is addressing the building efficiency skills gap and attracting talent through targeted workforce initiatives.

Two Better Buildings partners, CBRE and Lendlease, shared their perspectives and information on their internal programs to attract new talent, train and promote from within, and strengthen corporate values. Both of these organizations, like many others, are facing a double-edged sword of aging employees leaving the workforce and a shortage of qualified talent with the knowledge and skill level for the changing landscape of new, energy-efficient technologies.

Ray Congdon, Senior Director of Workforce Development at CBRE, shared how the firm has created a successful CBRE Sustainable Tech Program to help close the skills gap in the buildings industry. CBRE’s program focuses on promoting from within to provide technical skills through a 90-day apprenticeship program. After completing the program, workers have the opportunity to go beyond the primary learning levels to complete advanced or specialized certifications that will ultimately provide them with subject matter expertise.  

Lendlease’s Director of External Partnerships, Chun Yee Yip, spoke about how the organization is integrating social equity and sustainability into company values and building an internal workforce program that supports these values in addition to creating a workforce pipeline. Through Lendlease’s workforce program, they are addressing the underrepresentation of minorities and women in the trades by creating pathways for employment, integrating diversity and inclusion into hiring efforts, and collaborating with partnerships to drive change. The organization also engages with external partnerships to promote workforce participation.


Workforce development is essential to advance the American job force in step with technological progress. Through Better Buildings, partners in every sector are increasing the skill sets of new and existing employees through activities like those of CBRE and Lendlease – apprenticeship programs and on-the-job training to fill staffing gaps and meet the requirements of technologically-evolving equipment.

To learn more about what Better Buildings is doing to address workforce challenges and how to increase the quality, skill sets, diversity, productivity, and performance of the U.S. building energy efficiency workforce, visit the Better Buildings Solution Center and the Workforce Accelerator homepage.