By Jessica Mize
A decade into his career with the University of Houston, Jim Norcom still thinks back to the time he had to help upgrade the lights on the first and second floors of the E. Cullen building.
“That project was a challenging one,” said Norcom, who at that time was working as a project manager for Facilities Planning and Construction. “Since it involved the second floor of E. Cullen, we had to overcome some obstacles with security and access controls but in the end it was a complete success.”
Fast forward to today and Norcom still has that same commitment to working hard and surpassing issues, only now he’s the director of compliance, emergency and project delivery programs within Facilities Management.
In his role, the Virginia State alum oversees the associate director of emergency projects, the senior manager of the minor in-house construction team and three project managers who are currently involved with nearly 100 fire and life safety projects. The job calls for a strong leader like Norcom, who credits his time in the military for giving him the leadership and technical skills he needs to succeed.
“After graduating from college as an ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate in 1982, I was commissioned into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” said Norcom, who holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a minor in military science. “During my ten years of active-duty service I learned a lot, including the ins and outs of construction management.”
Not just a leader on campus, Norcom is also a respected frontrunner in his industry. He was recently unanimously elected as vice president for the Texas Association of Physical Plant Administrators, an organization whose over 300 members represent more than 175 higher education institutions. During his term, he hopes to expand membership and continue to provide professional development opportunities to the organization’s current members—something Norcom himself makes a priority.
“Over the years, I have completed a number of postgraduate courses and earned several professional certifications, including the Facilities Management Professional credential,” Norcom said.
When reflecting on his professional life as a whole, Norcom seems pleased with what he’s done.
“I’m proud of my military service and thankful for all of the opportunities and experiences I’ve had throughout my career,” he said.