Building Bridges with the Next Generation of Job Seekers

Over the summer, NAAEI offered scholarships to four DECA representatives for all-expense paid trips to attend our National Apartment Association Education Conference and Exposition held in June. Our goal was to give them an opportunity to learn more about the career opportunities in the apartment industry.

At the conference, we held morning networking breakfasts so they could connect with industry professionals and individuals in their own communities working in the apartment industry. We also let them experience the enthusiasm shared by those working in the industry by attending conference sessions and activities, as well as by exploring our massive trade show.

We wanted these DECA representatives to leave the conference more aware of the many, diverse career opportunities to be found in our industry – from property management and maintenance to marketing, finance, leasing and accounting.

As part of their scholarships, the recipients also will spend a day visiting an apartment community in their hometown.

The DECA representatives selected to attend our conference included:

  • Angie Bailey of Indiana River State College (Fla.)
  • Marian Morris of King’s High School (Wash.)
  • Jack Rose of Johnson & Wales University (Fla.)
  • Yamilet Sanchez-Nunez of Union City High School (N.J.)

Morris told us after the conference that she enjoyed the excitement and commitment she saw among people working in the industry.

“I was blown away and surprised by the conference,” she said. “I had no idea about the breadth of career opportunities available.”

She said she plans to let her students know about the wide range of apartment career opportunities, the fact that our industry is one of the fastest-growing in the country and one in which someone can start at the ground level and quickly advance.

Rose echoed those sentiments.

“I left extremely motivated and excited,” he said. “I shared my experience at the conference with our dean and also plan to speak with our hospitality program about what I learned.”

Programs such as this help us build awareness about our industry among high school and college students – many of whom probably never stopped to consider the wonderful career opportunities that exist right down the street at their local apartment community.

Our partnership with DECA helps us connect our industry leaders with DECA chapters to serve as information sources on our industry and to encourage the next generation of job seekers to consider careers in our industry.

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