The National Steering Committee (NSC) for the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) program announces that South Dakota State University’s (SDSU) Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering will soon offer a degree in CIM. While CIM expands to SDSU, it brings opportunities to even more students.
The announcement comes after a six-month selection process by the NSC and the North Central Region (NCR) patrons for the CIM program. This is a business intensive program that awards students with a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Concrete Industry Management. The NSC and the NCR patron groups are combining resources to provide approximately $1.5 million to SDSU over five years. This will go towards developing the degree program and assisting in employing a CIM program director, recruiter, and laboratory manager.
“We are excited to be selected as the university to fill the needs of the concrete industry, not only in South Dakota, but throughout the entire North Central Region,” said SDSU President Barry Dunn. “The program supports our mission as a land-grant university of addressing workforce needs in the communities of South Dakota and beyond. These Jackrabbits will become knowledgeable in concrete technology and techniques. The will be capable of managing people and systems, skilled in technical sales and expected to advance to industry leadership positions.”
CIM expands to SDSU
“We are happy to welcome SDSU to the family of CIM universities,” said NSC chairman Michael Schneider. “This partnership will be a great asset to the CIM program and concrete industry. We look forward to a long relationship with this exceptional university.”
“The concrete industry recognized the need for the CIM program in the Midwest,” said NCR patrons chairman Thor Becken. “Once the decision was made to develop a CIM program in the region, it took two years of planning and gaining industry member support before a search committee began interviewing various universities about potential interest in offering a CIM degree.”
The CIM program provides graduates with both technical knowledge and management expertise. This makes it so they are hirable at entry- or middle-level management positions. “The goal of CIM is to develop the future leaders of the concrete industry,” said Becken. “This is important because our industry, like many, is aging. Higher-level managers are starting to retire and we’re looking for the next generation of leaders to lead the concrete industry.”
“The selection committee, made up of NSC and NCR members, overwhelmingly agreed that SDSU was the most logical and best choice for us,” said Eugene Martineau, CIM NSC Executive Director. “SDSU’s prior experience with public/private partnerships, combined with how the Lohr College of Engineering stresses developing programs that engage industry needs, were critical in our decision-making. It was obvious that working with industry is not something new to the university. During our visit to SDSU, it was evident that the president and provost down through the dean and department heads were all-in for establishing a CIM program.”
“The CIM degree is a really nice fit for us,” says Teresa Hall, the leader of SDSU’s Department of Construction and Operations Management. “If you look at a Venn diagram, you have construction management and operations management. The CIM degree comes up between the two of them, so it works,” Hall said. “While the degree focuses on a particular material, it’s one that goes hand in hand with construction since the use of concrete is in virtually every form of construction.”
“We’re in an interesting place within Lohr College and the School of Design,” said Hall. “We have everything on the design-build continuum. There’s a lot of great things happening at SDSU and there’s no reason this degree program shouldn’t flourish.”
According to Art Thompson, NCR site selection committee chairman, there were multiple career openings last year for every CIM graduate. “These jobs include substantial starting salaries as well as full complements of benefits. For any student who is considering a career in a construction related industry, I would highly encourage them to learn more about the CIM program.”
The CIM Program
Recognizing the need for people with enhanced technical, communication and management skills, the CIM program began development in 1995. The individuals graduating from this program will have the skill set necessary to meet the growing demands of the progressively changing concrete industry of the 21st century. It is a business intensive program. Additionally, it is providing solid management skills that can be used in any industry, although has been developed specifically for the concrete industry. The program gives students many advantages including entering the concrete workforce with exposure to the industry early in their careers. This is unlike others coming in with generic business degrees.
The goal of the program is to produce broadly educated, articulate graduates grounded in basic business management. They also want individuals who are knowledgeable of concrete technology and techniques. Additionally, these individuals will be able to manage people and systems. They will also be able to promote products or services related to the concrete industry. It entails a broad range of courses, from English and history to science and mathematics. A series of required business courses such as finance, marketing, management and business law are also part of the curriculum. These courses are also taken throughout the length of the program.
The concrete-specific courses teach the fundamentals of concrete, properties and testing, concrete construction and more. All these courses utilize both practical case studies and an internship. This ensures the student obtains real-world experience essential to starting a successful career. Additional opportunities for growth include on-campus socials and other organized events providing industry networking and professional development.
Receiving tremendous support from the concrete industry, the CIM program is the first of its kind in United States. It is a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Concrete Industry Management. There was a need for such a program starting in 1995. At that time, action to put it into place was taken by the concrete industry. The end-result was a partnership between the concrete industry and Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) to develop the CIM program. The implementation with its first two students in occurred in 1996. The CIM protragme is available at MTSU, California State University, Chico, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Texas State University. The program has been successful for both the industry and the graduates. To learn more about the program, visit www.concretedegree.com.