The Restoration Industry has seen many changes in my 50 years of industry experience. When I started in the industry there were no written training programs, there were no classroom training programs, and there were no industry specific guidelines or drying equipment available. 

In the 80’s, IICRC and RIA started programs, classes, and certifications for water damage restoration. These programs have grown and evolved over the years, but what we all have been wondering about is how to attract the interest of young people into the industry and help grow our businesses.

I was recently honored to speak at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) on a program hosted by MTSU & Business Networks and Les Cunningham about the Restoration Industry. While I was at the University, I experienced the new School of Concrete and Construction Management. What an amazing learning facility. 

Restoration Industry Management at Middle Tennessee State University

Then I learned that MTSU is planning to open and expand a 4-year degree program in Construction Management with an emphasis on Water Damage Restoration. Finally, a new level of education and training will be available for our industry to continue its growth and bring college level students into our industry. 

The Restoration Industry Management idea grew from a need in working in Family Business in Restoration, Employee Burnout in Restoration, and Estimator Burnout in Restoration. Surveys were conducted and an industry advisory board was established to form a degree concentration, including curriculum texts, learning resources and equipment. 

The advisory board also has worked on scholarship funding, campus engagement and restoration industry events. The school is now up and running and it is looking for the Restoration Industry to step up and assist the future of education in our Industry. 

Finally, we can imagine a higher level of education and commitment for our industry. I have been talking about raising the bar in our Industry and this is a great step in the right direction. 

The Restoration Degree has 5 areas of emphasis that are semester-long programs. These areas include: 

  • Restoration Industry Science and Practices
  • EMS & Mitigation Estimating
  • Structural & Catastrophe Estimating
  • Restoration Project Management
  • Restoration Industry Internship

The program costs approximately $7.5 million over 3 years. Now this is where the Restoration Industry gets involved: We should consider contributing to the program. Funding from our industry would pay for staff and program administration directly. The restoration and remediation industry is being asked to fund up to $3 million over 5 years to uplift the industry. The University is funding over $4.5 million to facilitate the launch of the program.

Now is the restoration and remediation industry’s chance to step and really raise the bar and help start this program and then look to expand this program into other states around the USA. The University also stepped up and will match your donation at 75% level of your donation. So, you donate $10,000 and the university will match $7,500.

The incredible additional information you need to know is that 100% of the funding will go directly to the department not to administration of the program.

Now it’s your turn. Call Dr. Jake Avila at MTSU at 615-898-5715 or Les Cunningham with Business Networks at 541-729-7272 and get involved or get more information. This is a great opportunity for our industry. Get INVOLVED...

Larry Cooper
Restoration Journeys
Founder of The Experience Events