Students in the construction management degree program at Florida Tech created a partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Brevard County (Habitat) to aid in the construction of the Habitat’s residential-home building projects. Habitat for Humanity of Brevard County builds houses for low-income families using volunteers who come to offer their assistance and time. This experience is not only a great way to give back to the community, but the perfect chance for construction management students to participate in an active construction project, learning first hand the role of a construction manager or that of other construction professionals. They also give students a chance to better understand an active construction site where varying labor and weather factors require constant management adjustments to keep the work flowing toward the promised completion date.
During the Spring 2014 semester, site supervisors from Habitat for Humanity and Florida Tech construction management students volunteered to construct the frame of a single-family home on the Florida Tech campus. A ceremony was held to honor the newly formed partnership between Florida Tech and Habitat for Humanity of Brevard, and to also recognize the family who would ultimately take ownership of the completed home.
Approximately 60 Florida Tech students turned out for the event, completing the frame of the 1200 square foot home in roughly six hours. Once the walls were framed, they were dismantled and transported to the home site. Florida Tech students were joined by Harris Corporation volunteers to reassemble the frame and complete the build.
These Habitat houses are sold with very low interest loans to needy families, with no profit from the sale. The mortgages are held by the Habitat organization and the principle received is used to fund future housing projects. Funding for the projects is minimized by partnerships with churches, businesses, and other organizations that generously donate labor, materials and even the property where the home is built. Operating and project funds are also obtained via federal and local grants and fund-raising events.
In addition to these Habitat experiences, students are encouraged to obtain internships during the summer months to amplify their classroom learning with real world experiences. Very often these internships are converted to full time jobs after graduation and the beginning of a very fulfilling and successful career. Virtually 100% of the construction program graduates have found excellent permanent jobs in their field after graduation. These hands-on project experiences are just another reason why students choose Florida Tech for a bachelor’s degree in construction management.