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Posted 1/5/2018

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By Stephen Baack
Huntsville Center Public Affairs

One of the latest photos on the wall of professionals at the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center is of Aaron Renfro, who in September earned his Certified Construction Manager designation.

Renfro, who is assigned to Huntsville Center’s Ordnance and Explosives Directorate, is the construction lead at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant in Richmond, Kentucky. It’s his job, along with his U.S. Army Corps of Engineers colleagues on site, to see to completion the construction of the last chemical demilitarization plant in the nation.

While the CCM designation does not grant him extra authorities or responsibilities, Renfro said “it’s a way of demonstrating that I’ve got all the experience and knowledge necessary to be fully capable and competent about managing a construction project from beginning to end.”

“It’s a certification that shows you’ve met all the technical requirements and have all the core competencies to be a construction manager,” he added.

Renfro said the CCM designation is akin to the more common Project Management Professional designation, which is held by more than 700,000 professionals in the world. In contrast, Renfro’s certification number is 7,447, as the CCM designation is newer than that of the PMP.

He added that while the PMP designation is suited to project managers, the CCM designation is more applicable to construction quality assurance representatives, project engineers, resident engineers and area engineers. Renfro estimates there are only about three or four other CCMs assigned to Huntsville Center, whereas there are more than 50 PMPs here, according to Huntsville Center’s Human Capital office.

Receiving the CCM certification requires passing an exam that covers the process of managing a construction project from start to finish.

“It touches on a broad spectrum of all aspects related to construction management of a project, from a customer coming to you with a problem or a need, and then everything that it takes to take that problem or need through the beginning of the project through design to construction, and then closing out the project and maintaining warranty and sustainability requirements,” said Renfro.

Requirements to take the exam include possessing 48 months of experience and an undergraduate degree in construction management, construction science, architecture or engineering.

“I’d recommend it to folks if they’re serious about construction management in the Corps of Engineers, or even outside the Corps of Engineers,” said Renfro. “It’s a great measuring stick to sit down and take the exam and see if you’re competent in all the areas in the construction management profession.”

To learn more about the exam, visit the Construction Management Association of America website at https://cmaanet.org/certified-construction-manager-ccm.

“If you’re looking for another way to make your name stand out on a resume or just in an email signature, and you’re wanting to show that you’re serious about the construction profession, then go for it,” Renfro added. “It’s a great way to do that.”

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