Millions of college graduates continue to face uncertainty as they attempt to enter a workforce that’s been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. While many sectors of the global economy have been hard hit, community association management continues to be a profession in high demand.

CAI launched the Community Management Training and Certification Program in September for 2020 college graduates. The three-step program introduces young professionals to the growing field.

A self-paced curriculum will provide candidates a hands-on approach that explores the responsibilities of a community manager regarding property maintenance; best practices for developing, managing, and balancing association budgets; preparing contractor proposals; and understanding a community association reserve study.

For candidates enrolling in the program, the first step is to register for and successfully pass CAI’s M-100: The Essentials of Community Association Management course. The comprehensive course provides a practical overview for those who are new to the profession. The course is available in English and Spanish.

After completing the course, students are encouraged to earn the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) credential administered by the Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB). The CMCA recognizes individuals who have demonstrated the fundamental knowledge required to manage community associations and is the first step in earning other professional credentials administered by CAI. A separate application and fee are required to pursue the CMCA credential.

Community association management has experienced rapid growth in the past 40 years. Currently, there are between 55,000–60,000 community managers who work on-site or provide part-time support to community association boards, according to the 2019-2020 U.SNational and State Statistical Review for Community Association Data.

In addition, community association managers have remained largely protected from furloughs and layoffs during the pandemic. A CAI survey conducted between April and July showed that more than 90% of community managers reported no impacts to their employment.

“We believe that today’s college graduates possess the skills essential to community association management—excellent people skills, strong communication skills, and the ability to collaborate and solve problems,” says Thomas M. Skiba, CAE, CAI’s chief executive officer. “Our education and certification program will further provide new professionals with the training needed to build a resume and start a successful career in community association management.”

College graduates may purchase a package that includes student membership for one year and registration for the M-100 course at a discount until Nov. 30. Membership to CAI will offer candidates continued education, mentorship, and networking opportunities as they begin their career.

>>Learn more and register at www.caionline.org/2020CollegeGradProgram.

Amy Repke

Amy Repke

Amy Repke brings over 20 years of experience to CAI serving as the organization's vice president of communications and marketing. Amy's communications career began in television news where she worked as a producer, writer, and assignment manager for both local and network news channels. In 2013, Amy launched a communications and marketing firm, consulting with clients representing political, financial services, trade associations, and nonprofit organizations. Amy has been nominated for four Washington Regional Emmy awards for writing and producing. Amy is a graduate of Old Dominion University and received a master's degree in Strategic Public Communications from American University.

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