Kansas City gets $2 million economic boost from NeighborWorks America conference

Dec 05, 2013, 14:26 ET from NeighborWorks America

NeighborWorks Training institute brings 1,750 community development professionals to Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Dec. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 1,750 community development professionals from around the country will visit Kansas City Dec. 9-13 for the quarterly NeighborWorks Training Institute. The conference – hosted by NeighborWorks America, a national, Congressionally chartered nonprofit that creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities -- is expected to deliver an estimated $2.1 million in economic impact citywide.

NeighborWorks America selected Kansas City for its training institute because the city has a strong track record in community development and affordable housing. NeighborWorks America provides training to thousands of community development professionals from more than 3,000 organizations annually, including the more than 235 members of the NeighborWorks network. The training institute is designed to provide much-needed skill-building and professional certification for community development and affordable housing professionals, and many others in the nonprofit, government and for-profit sectors.  

"NeighborWorks Training Institutes give community-development professionals the knowledge and expertise to help them build vibrant and strong communities," said Eileen M. Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of NeighborWorks America. "We are proud to be in Kansas City where we and our member organizations -- Neighborhood Housing Services of Kansas City and Westside Housing Organization -- have partnered successfully to help individuals improve their lives."

Included in the many courses and workshops is a Dec. 11 symposium focusing on "Real-World Solutions for Community Transformation." The event will explore models of community change that bring together diverse stakeholders to tackle complex problems.

Among the expected speakers at the symposium are Kansas City, MO, Mayor Sly James and Former Kansas City, KS, Mayor Joe Reardon.

The NeighborWorks Training Institute in Kansas City is supported by a variety of partners, including Wells Fargo, Citi and Citi Foundation, HUD, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, BB&T, Fannie Mae, Ford Foundation, and USDA Rural Development.

"I am very happy that Kansas City is hosting the December 2013 NeighborWorks Training Institute in Kansas City," said Mark Stalsworth, president and CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services. "After enjoying the hospitality of our network friends for so many years, it is great to be able to return the favor. This is one of the top 10 conferences in Kansas City this year, and I know that both our guests and Kansas City area attendees will have a wonderful experience." 

"Westside Housing Organization is proud to help host the NeighborWorks Training Institute and our community development colleagues from around the nation. This is a great opportunity for Kansas City to showcase its innovative affordable housing developments, collaborations to include healthy homes, and many sustainability initiatives," said Gloria Ortiz-Fisher, executive director of Westside Housing Organization.

"Community Housing of Wyandotte County (CHWC) is very pleased to welcome the NeighborWorks Training Institute and our community development colleagues from across the nation to Kansas City," said Donny Smith, executive director and CEO of CHWC. "Kansas City, in true Midwestern style, is a welcoming city that exemplifies our entrepreneurial and pioneering spirit. Our visitors will see firsthand a variety of community development efforts that have been created and sustained due to the collaboration of community development experts in both Kansas City, KS, and Kansas City, MO."

NeighborWorks organizations work every day to serve Kansas City and surrounding communities. In fiscal year 2012, NeighborWorks organizations in Missouri generated more than $53 million in total direct investment, served more than 4,000 individuals and families, and created and maintained 447 jobs. To read more about NeighborWorks organizations' impact in Missouri and other states, view the NeighborWorks America interactive map at http://nw.org/network/stateimpactasp/interactive_map.asp.  

NeighborWorks organizations that serve Missouri are Better Family Life, Beyond Housing, Neighborhood Housing Services, North East Community Action Corporation and Westside Housing Organization. CHWC is in neighboring Kansas City, KS.

NeighborWorks America has sponsored national training institutes since 1987. In 2013 more than 7,000 professionals from 2,100 organizations participated in the NeighborWorks Training Institutes. In addition to the national training institutes, the organization offers a variety of other educational opportunities for professionals, both classroom and online, throughout the year.

For more information about NeighborWorks America, and to register for the training institute, visit www.nw.org.

About NeighborWorks America
For 35 years, NeighborWorks America has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation's leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.

SOURCE NeighborWorks America