Director of Trades
The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.
Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.
The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.
The Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES) provides the expertise, business process, policies and standards required to plan, design, construct, operate, maintain and renew the physical assets of the University, excluding the health system. In addition, the Division, comprised of approximately five Departments, is responsible for the strategic planning, management and operation of non-academic University property, and collaborating with the neighborhood to create a safe, diverse and economically vibrant destination. With close to 12M square feet of space, FRES maintains 186 buildings on a campus of 276 acres, completes over 60,000 maintenance requests per year, and starts approximately 250 projects a year. FRES is comprised of the following Departments: Administration, Office of the University Architect, Design and Construction, Real Estate, Operations and Maintenance.
The University of Pennsylvania is implementing a campus transformation entitled Penn Connects (). This comprehensive, award winning effort is expanding the campus over the next 20 years, including the construction of new academic research and recreational facilities. In addition, the University has secured $300M in Century Bond funding and continues to upgrade existing facilities over the coming years.
Reporting directly to the Executive Director of Operations and Maintenance for Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES), the Director of Trades provides leadership to the maintenance staff supporting over 14 million square feet of campus facilities. The Director shall lead and motivate 5 managers directly and 24 Supervisors and over 250 unionized tradespersons and hardsurface/grounds staff to effectively maintain the campus. S/he shall operate and maintain campus’ chilled water generation equipment and over 30 miles of underground electrical, steam, and chilled water distributions systems. The Director is responsible for the management of facilities staff, including any combination of the following functions: routine maintenance, preventative maintenance, customer projects, customer relations, service contracts, trash/recycling, and grounds maintenance. S/he shall oversee over $50 million dollars per year of labor, materials, and contracted expenses.
This position shall drive productivity and effectiveness of maintenance actions to minimize long term costs while improving system reliability. The Director shall develop a collaborative team environment among the assigned staff, FRES Divisions, and the various school/center customers. S/he shall create a culture of continuous improvement and proactivity. Monitor organizational activities to ensure worker safety is maintained and the University’s Climate Action Plan goals are supported.
Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering or related field and 7 to 10 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience is required. At least 7 years of experience, in a large setting or corporate campus, preferably an academic environment, utility, manufacturing, or government institution, dealing with client relations, management of large operating staffs, and budgetary control, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
MBA or related Masters degree, Professional Registration, and 10+ years of experience strongly preferred.
Must have an extensive knowledge of building operations, general maintenance, utility operations, building automation systems, and computerized Maintenance Management systems (CMMS). Experience in strategic planning, budgeting, procurement, contracting, staff development, and process improvement strongly desired.
Must have strong leadership experience in utilizing information management systems and performance metrics to drive progress, accountability, and performance.
Must have a proven record of excellent internal and external customer service; collaboration and teamwork demonstrated excellent interpersonal and verbal and written communication skills; and an ability to manage multiple priorities simultaneously.
Experience and knowledge working with in-house unionized workforce is preferred.
To apply, visit
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.
- Facilities Management
7+ to 10 years