In January, Justin Honey, CMCET faculty, traveled to the International Builders Show Awards Ceremony in Orlando, Fla., to accept a grant that will bring big changes to PSU’s residential construction emphasis.

The $95,000 HELP (Housing Education and Leadership Program) grant awarded by the National Homebuilders Endowment – the philanthropic arm of the National Association of Homebuilders – was officially granted to the department last fall, after faculty members spent nearly a year competing with 24 other construction schools for the money. Penn State was the other recipient of the grant.

Over the course of the next four years, the department will receive disbursements of the grant, which it will use to strengthen its residential construction management emphasis within the BST Construction Management Program. The residential emphasis is one of four emphases (residential, safety, field and company) that CMCET students can choose from.

Within the residential emphasis, current courses will be revamped and new courses created. Nationally recognized designations and certifications such as Certified Green Professional (CGP), Residential Construction Superintendent (RCS) and Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS), among others, will also be incorporated.

“The big focus is to give our students the skills they need to make themselves more marketable,” Honey said, adding that training will be provided to industry professionals through partnerships with local homebuilding chapters – a potentially profitable venture that will make the curriculum improvements sustainable.