The nine-module, online course requires 40 to 50 hours tocomplete. An estimated 1,000 CBRE employees are expected to earncertifications in the first year. The program spent 10 months inbeta testing and also underwent stress testing from CBRE's up andcoming future leaders, whose input was incorporated into the finalproduct, according to Ari Reubin, vice president and director ofquality and innovation assurance for the Dallas-based leadershipteam.

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"Ultimately, it's our vision this will become an industry-wideplatform," Ken Loeber, executive vice president of CBRE's projectmanagement group, tells GlobeSt.com. "If this tool had beenavailable in the industry, we would have gone out and acquired it.We want to marry the individual talent and art of projectmanagement with the individuals we have and have a common processto support them." The CBRE development team included James Brown,managing director in Charlotte, NC and Richard Smith, a managingdirector in Phoenix.

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PJM Foundations has three levels, with the upper two targetingmanagement and senior-level professionals. CBRE's 2,400 projectmanagement professionals will be required to complete the firstlevel of coursework. Level 1's modules are introduction, leadershipand communications management, risk management, scope and designmanagement, building infrastructure, scheduling and costmanagement, contracting for project managers, quality managementand construction administration and occupancy managementservices.

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Loeber says the team evaluated all programs in the marketplacebefore initiating the contract with UTD, one of nine universitiesin the nation that's certified by Project Management Institute. "Wecouldn't find a property management platform that was very specificto real estate and oriented to what our customers want," hesays.

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Reubin, who left the UTD faculty one year ago, says UTD earnedthe partnership status because "they were very flexible and easy towork with." Under the agreement, graduates will earn certificationsfrom CBRE and UTD. Furthermore, the agreement stipulates that UTDcan't add it to its curriculum for one to three years. "We havelocked in the work product because it's something we developed,"Reubin says.

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Still, Loeber and Reubin recognize PJM Foundations' strategieswill eventually end up in the marketplace as employees change jobs."But, we are positioning our company to be at least one generationahead in the industry," Reubin says.

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