Wednesday AM April 7th, 2010

The Houston Apartment Association is hosting its fourth annual “Maintenance Mania” event at the Marriott Westchase. Ed Mayberry reports.

The full-day event features workshops and skill-based competitions exhibiting talents used on the job everyday, as the association’s Emily Hilton explains.

“They begin the day with education seminars.? Over the years we’ve had the topics cover everything from fair housing to local city ordinances.? This year, we’re doing a lot on air conditioning maintenance and safety tips.? And then we feed them a big lunch at the hotel and then in the afternoon the gaming competitions begin and they compete against each other on categories like ceiling fan installation or appliance repair, toilet repair—it pretty much runs the gamut.”

The event concludes with a race car competition, where competitors build a model car using at least one maintenance part and race it down a pinewood derby-style racetrack.? The apartment industry remains relatively healthy in the current economy.

“In terms of jobs, it really tends to be recession-proof because, you know, regardless of what the economy’s doing, people need places to live.? You’ll see a little bit of a transition.? You know, maybe people are moving out of Class A apartment homes into Class B and Class C apartment homes, but renters are still there and the jobs are still there.? For a lot of people looking to make a career change or a transition right now, you know, the apartment industry is a fantastic place to find jobs.? You know, we have over 500,000 apartment homes in the city of Houston, so that equals a lot of jobs both, you know, in the office and behind the scenes with the maintenance professionals.”???

Almost 200 apartment maintenance professionals are taking part in the Houston Apartment Association’s “Maintenance Mania” event.