Swinerton Builders: October 29, 2014
Swinerton Builders Makes Lead Gift to Create the CM Cares Endowment at CSU
“Colorado State University is not just about graduating students with a degree in construction management. We are about making a difference in the lives of everyone around us,”explains Mostafa Khattab, Head of CSU Construction Management department.
CM Cares, created four years ago at CSU, is one of the initiatives designed to instill students with leadership abilities beyond the technical and managerial skills needed to be successful in the construction industry by pairing them with members of the community who have unmet needs for construction-related projects.
“It has been a real honor to mentor and work alongside the CSU CM students, as they serve the community through the CM Cares Program,” says Jared Hoeflich, Project Executive at Swinerton Builders and former industry mentor on the Brinks Family CM Cares Project. “CM Cares provides an opportunity for the students to really gain perspective and to experience what true leadership is all about, as they work to improve the lives of very deserving families.”
CM Cares is primarily delivered through the Construction Leadership course, which covers essential “soft skills” like communication, problem solving, ethics, and more. The industry is heavily involved in sharing their experiences both in the classroom and on the CM Cares community projects jobsites. Students must apply and be accepted into the course and are then assembled into teams to complete their assigned construction projects within the community. It is above and beyond the curriculum requirements for graduation with a CM degree.
“Technical skills are not going to be enough for our students to be leaders in the construction industry, and the traditional classroom experience does not lend itself to effectively teaching these leadership skills. With the addition of the CM Cares community service projects, students are able to combine what they learn in the classroom with essential soft skills, and put them into practice on real-world projects. CM Cares takes students out of their comfort zones, into the community, to touch someone else’s life and to learn what leadership is all about,” adds Khattab.
Since the start of CM Cares, 70 students have taken the leadership course, over 90 construction firms and donors have supported the program, and more than 300 volunteers have assisted with CM Cares to complete 13 construction service projects. The program is celebrating recognition on local and national news, along with receiving multiple community service awards.
Swinerton Builders has been a vital partner of CM Cares for the last two years, and has provided resources, mentorship, and volunteers on two projects: The Grashorn Project and the Brinks Family Project. Creating a sustainable funding source for CM Cares surfaced as a philanthropic priority for Swinerton Builders, who announced that they would contribute the lead gift to start an endowment for the program, which will provide resources for CM Cares in perpetuity.
“The Swinerton Foundation is particularly passionate about supporting programs that build leaders in our fast-paced, constantly evolving industry,” explains Gary Rafferty, President and Chief Operating Officer at Swinerton Builders. “Our industry is in need of leadership, and it is through mentorship and education programs, such as CM Cares, that today’s young builders will learn early on the crucial elements to turn their passion for construction into a lifelong career.”
Endowing CM Cares will provide a dependable budget that will improve CSU’s ability to give students opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others, while also putting into action the lessons they learn in the classroom, which is a mission that Swinerton Builders shares.
Swinerton Builders has also committed to helping CSU raise the rest of the funds needed to fulfill the overall goal of the endowment, which is $1 million to provide approximately $45,000 annually for students to use on their projects and to sustain the overall operations of the CM Cares program.
“I feel strongly that CM Cares and the end result from the hard work that the students put in is something that they will not soon forget,” adds Hoeflich. “The insight that they take from this experience will shape their future and set the students on a course for success.”
The Swinerton organization provides commercial construction and construction management services throughout the Western United States and is a 100 percent employee-owned company. Recognized nationally since 1888, Swinerton has been building in Colorado since 1942 and is devoted to the region with a passion for delivering the highest quality product through innovation, integrity, and experience. For more information on Swinerton, visit the company’s blog at SwinertonBuildsTomorrow, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and LinkedIn.
Swinerton’s building extends beyond the jobsite; it transcends to those who need it most. The Swinerton Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that allows Swinerton to support health, human services, youth, construction education, and cultural programs that are close to their employees hearts while bettering the communities where the company has significant presence.