Northern Illinois University Outreach is striving to ensure that local workers and businesses are prepared to play a major role in the greening of America.

More than $85 billion in federal money has been earmarked for clean energy and transportation projects alone. Much of that is directed at projects to help American homes, offices and factories adopt more energy efficient practices, which has dramatically increased demand for individuals with the skills to identify and implement the proper improvements.

Recognizing that need, NIU Outreach, which specializes in providing non-credit professional development opportunities, has forged partnerships with the International Facility Management Association and the Everblue Training Institute which deliver certification and sustainability programs to create an educated  “green” workforce.

“Preparing individuals to identify and pursue sustainable energy and environmentally friendly business practices is critical to success in today’s economy,” said Brian Vollmert, director of education and training for NIU Outreach.  “Green jobs are the wave of the future and today’s workers must be prepared to meet the challenges of creating environmentally friendly and efficient workspace, housing and manufacturing processes. These programs will help them attain the necessary skills and certifications.”

As part of those efforts, Everblue Training Institute, a U.S. Green Building Council-approved education provider, will offer a series of workshops, courses and seminars to help prepare builders, developers, contractors, interior designers, engineers, architects, facility managers, real estate brokers, product suppliers and others interested in green building to earn the hottest certifications in the construction and facility management industries. Specifically, the courses will prepare students to earn the LEED 3.0 Green Associate Accreditation; LEED AP+ Specialty Accreditation and a new non-credit Certificate in Sustainable Development. 

A complete series of programs will be offered at NIU’s Outreach Centers in Naperville and  Hoffman Estates and at the Kellogg Conference Center in Chicago from August until December 2009.  Complete details are available online at

NIU Outreach also partners with the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) to offer certification prep courses for facility managers seeking to earn the Facility Management Professional (FMP) or Certified Facility Management (CFM) credentials. A new initiative with this organization addresses the topic: Sustainable FM: A Practitioner’s Guide to Greening your Facility. Nationally known speaker, Kit Tuveson, CFM and IFMA Fellow, will present this program at NIU Naperville on Tuesday, Oct. 27 and Wedesday, Oct. 28.  Complete details about this program as well as the FMP and CFM certification courses are available online at