SOURCE: Neighborworks America

NeighborWorks America

March 16, 2010 09:44 ET

NeighborWorks America Helps Communities 'Go Green' by Awarding 170 Training and Education Certificates

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - March 16, 2010) -  NeighborWorks® America, the nation's largest trainer of community development professionals, recently awarded 170 certificates of completion to nonprofit leaders from around the country. The certificates were awarded in a range of disciplines including how to improve the energy and environmental footprint of multifamily and single-family housing, and how to engage community residents on behalf of greener living. The classes, offered at the NeighborWorks® Training Institute (NTI) four times each year, are part of NeighborWorks America's broader Green Initiative for communities.

"This was our largest number of certificates earned since we began a gradual roll-out of green courses in 2005," commented Paul Kealey, director of training. "These are exciting times for housing developers and community leaders. Energy efficiency and better health through the use of greener products is on everyone's mind. While the courses directly enhance the knowledge of the participants, the community-wide benefit of their learning touches thousands of people."

The NeighborWorks America Green Initiative is a multi-faceted effort involving professional education, community outreach, targeted grants for the development and rehabilitation of housing, and participation in coalitions working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while lowering the energy and resource bills for families.

Professional education can lead to designation as Green Building and Healthy Homes Specialist upon successful completion of nine integrated courses offered by NeighborWorks America.

"Professional standards are the foundation for moving ahead in green development in low- and moderate-income communities where most nonprofit organizations operate," said Kealey. "By certifying a base of knowledge, skills and tools that complement current standards set by the building industry, NeighborWorks America helps to ensure that everyone has access to green homes and apartments, and healthy communities."

Affecting the lives of others is what Richard Walker of Rural Community Assistance Corporation in Utah plans to do after earning his certificate in Greening Affordable Housing from the NTI.

"I took the class because I'm getting more involved with the Greening of Utah Initiative. The course expanded my understanding of green affordable housing beyond energy efficiency methods. I plan to bring what I learned to my work with mutual self help housing programs and incorporate new ideas into workshops about housing designs that I hope will benefit families," said Walker.

The next NeighborWorks Training Institute that will offer courses that lead to the Green Building and Healthy Homes Specialist certificate is May 3-7, 2010 in Phoenix, Ariz. For information about scholarships for qualified nonprofit employees and overall information for the Institute, visit, www.nw.org/training.

About NeighborWorks® America
NeighborWorks® America creates opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. Since 1991, we have assisted nearly 1.2 million low- to moderate-income families with their housing needs. Much of our success is achieved through our support of the NeighborWorks® network -- more than 230 community development organizations working in more than 4,400 urban, suburban and rural communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In the last five years, NeighborWorks® organizations have generated more than $15 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks® America is the nation's leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals. www.nw.org

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