An Updated Approach To Campus Development & Expansion
As financial markets around the world have been changing to adapt to new and useful technologies, so has the development and expansion of colleges, universities and trade schools alike. As the use of Smart Cities Technologies, and State-of-the-Art Infrastructure has been made a priority to insure the longevity of each structure, and to attract the brightest minds to attend, higher education and trade schools need to adapt to new and various ways to fund these new developments and campus expansions!
Private Equity is another useful tool for educational facilities to use in conjunction with endowments, grants and the long-standing tradition of the Black Tie fundraising parties! Various forms of collaborations are available through private equity, and can offer many new ideas that would make the project more feasible to develop! It can also divert the need to increase the tuition costs as well. In the modern economy, the cost of a higher education is now on the student, parents and grandparents as well!
Along with new and creative ways in the funding of these new facilities, is the inclusion of Community Involvement and Engagement! Numerous cities and governments around the world are now requiring input from community interests groups to insure the “Voice of the Citizens” is heard! Every educational facility needs to stand out in its academic offerings and training programs of course, and now included is the feeling of being a part of each community where the campus is located!
The three most common items being discussed in these community Town Hall Meetings are as follows:
1. Job creation and training for local residents;
2. Opportunities for local companies to bid on the opportunities available;
3. The blending of the new structures into the communities where the new construction shall take place.
As we are working on many developments around the world, we see these items as being crucial to the success of each project obtaining the necessary permits and approvals to proceed forward. We have also seen many projects being delayed and some halted on a permanent basis due to lack of listening to the Voice Of The Community!!
On each and every project that CREF, Inc., is involved with, our first priority is JOB CREATION! We attempt to arrange with the local colleges, university and trade schools to establish a program for educational credits for “On The Job” experience. We do require that each company who is awarded a contract for our projects to hire at least 5 to 10 unskilled workers, and teach them a skill! There is no better reward that to see a non-skilled person become a skilled and educated person! You never know when one of these “Now Skilled and Educated” persons may be applying for a position with your firm!!
As we are in the beginning stages of a development project in the Pittsburgh, PA area, we are working in conjunction with Duquesne University and Carnegie Mellon University for programs such as these! Also, we have reached out to many local organizations who are assisting us with programs for job training as well! We shall also require each company who is being awarded a contract involved with this project to create opportunities for residents of the community where the complex is being developed, and to hire at a minimum of 10 unskilled workers and train them to become a “Skilled Worker”.
As we are working on a global basis, we ask the residents of each community what they want to see, and the first response is always, A better life for our children, and for our children to have a neighborhood community that we had when we were children”! “A COMMUNITY” not just another brick and steel structure!
As always, we welcome your professional feedback, and we stand at the ready to be a benefit to you and your upcoming project!
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Terry L. Smith
President & CEO