HELP Grant awarded to SDSU

The Construction Management program has received the Homebuilding Education Leadership Program Grant, worth over $97,000 from the National House Endowment.

Lead by the department head of constructions and operations management, Teresa Hall, the program wrecently received the HELP Grant from the National House Endowment, a branch agency of the National Association of Home Builders with a four point proposal. The department is also receiving a matching fund from the University itself worth a little over $40,000.

Along with receiving the grant, SDSU is now a part of a tight knit community with 19 other universities to receive the grant. Because of this, SDSU has become part of a growing process inside the Construction Management programs across other universities. 

The Principal Investigator, Ken Bertolini, an instructor with over 17 years of experience in the industry and academia world petitioned the organization with a proposal. Hall brought Bertolini in to help with the petition because of his experience in residential construction management. This was SDSU’s third attempt at applying for the grant.

“In years past we tried for the HELP Grant but we never really quite nailed the landing,” Hall said.

In late October, after being accepting to submit the plan, Bertolini went to Washington D.C. to petition the NHE board with the proposal that he, Hall and many others around the university had written up. 

The proposal is a four point mission statement about where the grant money would be allocated to and how the new program would help accelerate the programs. The first point in the plan is the creation of a senior seminar class in the construction management program. This would be a wrap-up class for the construction management and in addition this would add an emphasis in residential construction. 

The second point of the proposal would let the students be able to become a Certified Green Professional. 

According to Bertolini, the CGP is “a designation that when builders take an exam, it shows how much knowledge in green construction practices they have and then, if they have a high enough grade, they become certified.”

This opportunity will be available to students in the residential construction class. 

The next point of the plan is that one of the faculty members, most likely Bertolini will go to the NAHB, and become a certified CGP trainer to train the students who are striving to become CGP themselves.

The last piece of the proposal is the establishment of a student internship program. The Construction and Operations Management department wants to establish and grow relationships with homebuilders both in-state and nationwide. The money from the grant will help in the establishment of these relationships.