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Construction management combines two of the most important industries in Philadelphia – building and business. According to Pennsylvania and U.S. government statistics, Construction Managers are one of the most in-demand and fastest-growing careers.

Construction managers oversee the overall construction project. They act as an interface between the owners or architects and the construction workers. They take responsibility for the day-to-day work and report back on progress, costs, and issues. So if you’re a problem-solver able to prioritize and delegate tasks while effectively communicating with your team – you may have what it takes!

Our Construction Management Certificate (CMC) is an intensive 9-month program designed for existing and aspiring independent contractors who want to succeed in this $1 trillion industry. You get the tools you need to meet tighter project delivery times while learning to navigate the complex environment of regulatory and economic challenges. Temple University Small Business Development Center (TU SBDC) teaches you the specialized project management techniques you need to manage the planning, design, and construction of a project, from beginning (pre-design) to end (closeout). After completing the program you’ll be able to control a project’s time, cost, safety record, and quality – for all types of projects.

If you’re ready to learn more about the CMC, please join us on Saturday July 28th at 10am for coffee and conversation with our expert instructors.

You can register here for this free information session.

An added bonus – just for fun!

Here are the Eight Traits of a Great Construction Manager:

Although construction projects are always a team effort, construction managers take the lead. As such, the difference between weak and strong leadership can play a huge role in the final results of a whole group’s efforts.

1. Enthusiasm

Sometimes, people are so hard at work that they forget the purpose of what they’re doing; they begin to see the individual steps as the whole job, rather than considering what the finished product will be.

An awareness of what a construction project is ultimately meant to be—the why this thing is being built? factor—is key to what makes a great manager. Their enthusiasm to see the project through to its ultimate purpose will motivate the entire team to respect the significance of what they do, and work harder to do it the best they can.

2. Organization/Priorities

Construction projects almost always go through changes, whether it’s shifting deadlines, a bump (up or down) in budget, or a change in the availability of resources.

That means, as a construction manager, you will absolutely need to write and rewrite the plan, likely several times over. Being able to prioritize what needs to be done soonest, and always staying on top of what you have at your disposal (in terms of minutes, money, and materials) are pivotal to success.

3. Knowing Your Workers’ Skills

As a construction manager, you’ll be looking after a (fairly sizable) team. You should be aware of who excels at what, and give the right job to the right person.

Everyone in your team will have skills and experience, and of course the hope is that they’ll be able to adapt these skills to various problems, but that doesn’t negate the fact that individual workers will shine brightest in certain areas, and therefore be best utilized in certain tasks.

4. Team Player

Construction managers are responsible for bringing everyone together and keeping morale high. Directly related to these characteristics, a construction manager should be friendly and approachable.

Why?

Because when workers are happy with their management, it fosters better work habits, and it also opens communication for feedback, which lets the manager improve even further (and make sure everybody is on the same page)!

5. Communication Skills

Communication skills are central to good management of any kind. There’s simply not much as important as a construction manager’s ability to delegate tasks; furthermore, good communication might mean being able to look at the total scope of the construction project, and break it down realistically into small, doable tasks given to each member of your team.

On a simpler level, making sure no detail gets ignored or forgotten about and that everybody has gotten the memos that apply to them are essential parts of managing a team.

6. Optimism

Being down is no good. When you’re leading a team, you need to be optimistic and confident that the project will be successful, believe that every one’s role is important and every worker is valuable, and that level-headed problem-solving will always get you through the day (more on this in #8). 

7. Calmness under Pressure

Related to #6, calmness under pressure means understanding that a construction project will force you to face particular challenges, and there is always a way to figure out a solution if cool heads are put together and everybody stays on course. Panicking simply doesn’t do any good for anyone.

8. Problem Solving

Problem solving of every kind—whether technical, monetary, or social (i.e. addressing complaints about a particular project)—is a must in the world of construction management.

You don’t know ahead of time what obstacles a construction project will face, and as such, you need to think quickly, pragmatically, realistically, and diplomatically, sometimes figuring out solutions within a month, and other times within an hour.

Ready for more? Register for the July 28th information session here

 

Aug. 6, 2010

Eustace Kangaju planned to return to Sierra Leone to promote economic development in his native country after getting his MBA in 1996. “Then I realized Philadelphia had a lot of opportunity,” he said. Since 2000, Kangaju has been the executive director of the Temple University Small Business Development Center, an outreach center of the Fox School of Business. Kangaju was recently named one of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2010 Minority Business Advocates for his work in promoting the growth of minority-owned businesses.

Continue to Philadelphia Business Journal to read more…

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Media Contact: Brandon Lausch, 215-204-4115, blausch@temple.edu


Eustace Kangaju, executive director of the Temple University Small Business Development Center, was recently named one of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2010 Minority Business Advocates for his work in promoting the growth of minority-owned businesses.

Judges for the newspaper’s second annual Minority Business Awards program selected five minority business advocates to be honored with 25 minority business leaders in the greater Philadelphia region.

“Temple University and the Fox School of Business have long served as economic engines for greater Philadelphia,” Fox School Dean M. Moshe Porat said. “Eustace’s commitment to enhancing our city and region through community engagement is another fine example of our impact. Each day, he promotes business, champions diversity and improves our region.”

Of the 30 honorees, Kangaju is the only one directly affiliated with a college or university. The Temple SBDC is an outreach center of the Fox School of Business. At least one Temple SBDC client, Lansdale Packaged Ice, is also being honored.

“It speaks to the quality of work we do as an institution,” Kangaju said of the award. “It means that we’re identifying the needs of minority populations in this area and ensuring that we, as an urban educational institution, provide the resources to meet those needs. We help produce quality clients, and our work is reflected in their accomplishments.”

Last year, Temple SBDC assisted clients to secure $58 million in government contracts. Approximately 45 percent of the center’s clients are African-American and 6 percent are Hispanic, according to center data. Nearly 60 percent of the center’s clients are from Philadelphia. Each year, Temple SBDC assists 1,000 small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Kangaju has forged alliances with the largest providers and support organizations of economic development in the region, including the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition and the minority business development initiative of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia. Temple SBDC has also collaborated with the Greater Philadelphia Minority Business Strategic Alliance.

Kangaju has been instrumental in assisting minority entrepreneurs gain access to capital by serving on several boards and loan committees developed specifically for minority businesses. Temple SBDC also supports activities and events to increase awareness of business development opportunities, such as Philadelphia’s Minority Enterprise Development Week and Black Family Technology Awareness Week.

One of the hallmark educational programs offered by Temple SBDC is the nine-month Construction Management Certificate Series (CMC), which targets minority contractors and subcontractors in greater Philadelphia.

The CMC program – the only one of its kind in the Delaware Valley – has trained more than 300 people in business management skills and is co-sponsored by a variety of trade and business associations, such as the Association of Delaware Valley Contractors and Allied Professionals, and African-American Builders and Associates.

In 2004, following the success of the CMC program, Temple SBDC was asked to provide training and consulting for the Emerging Contractors Training Program, an initiative of the African-American Chamber of Commerce and the City of Philadelphia. Kangaju implemented a program that trained 50 minority contractors in construction demolition.

In addition to leading Temple SBDC for the past 10 years, Kangaju is an adjunct clinical professor in the Fox School’s Department of Strategic Management. He is originally from Sierra Leone in West Africa.

The Philadelphia Business Journal and presenting sponsor Wachovia will host the Minority Business Awards program Aug. 5 in the Wannamaker Building. The next day, each honoree will be profiled in a special print supplement of the newspaper.

– Brandon Lausch