The Future Workforce in Lab Design: Where is it Coming From and What Does it Look Like?

Preparing for the future entails that the current professional lab design industry members mentor, encourage and train the next generation. That mission includes preparing a diverse population to “take over the reins” as key players in the industry retire. Has your company addressed this need? Do you personally involve yourself in preparing the next generation of talented lab planner and lab architects for the future?

At last year’s 2018 Lab Design Conference in Philadelphia, we presented a lively panel that discussed these issues and focused on mentoring programs and practices that exist today. Mentoring programs are a valuable way to offer guidance and support to individuals pursuing a career related to architecture, engineering and design. They are also a positive way to “give back” to the lab design community and help nurture the young talent that will evolve into tomorrow’s leaders—and ultimately determine the future of lab design. Certainly, the lab design community would benefit greatly by focusing on the next generation of young professionals, especially newly hired lab professionals and those looking to enter the profession after their academic training is completed.

Another challenge for the future workforce is what the face of lab design currently looks like today and how individuals can be encouraged to enter the profession. What is the diversity level? Do women hold positions of leadership in the community? What does the future workforce look like? This special Community Engagement Forum will be a lively panel discussion which will address the overall benefits of mentoring and the panelists will tackle an in-depth discussion of the gaps that exist in the current workforce—and what firms and individual lab design leaders can do to mitigate them.

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