Workforce Development

Current Trainings

DC Master Gardener Program: This program provides students with extensive training in topics such as botany, plant pathology, entomology, urban soils, vegetable gardening, pruning and plant propagation. Participants are required to dedicate volunteer time to demonstrate horticultural practices; answer questions, provide information, and speak at public events; and participate in community gardening programs.

Register here.

Certified Professional Food Manager Course: The course is designed to teach the principles of food safety management and how to use those principles to create a food safety culture. Additionally, the course emphasizes and provides information to students about how to identify and avoid food contaminates, proper employee health and hygiene, cleaning and sanitation principles and safe food handling practices. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) information will be discussed, as well as what to do before, during and after inspection to provide a culture that keeps food and the public safe. The certification is a requirement to sell or serve food to the public.

Register here.

Green Infrastructure Training: DC Water, in partnership with the Water Environment Federation, launched the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program to train, qualify and certify eligible participants for the green infrastructure construction, inspection and maintenance workforce. The University of the District of Columbia provides the training at no cost to District residents who qualify (a high school diploma or equivalent and no college education). The purpose of this training is to give unemployed or underemployed DC residents an opportunity to embark on a new career path. This training meets one of the two eligibility requirements needed to take the National GI Certification Program (NGICP) exam.

Register here.

Pesticide Applicator Certificate Training: This training is to prepare participants to take the pesticide certification exam for recertification or to obtain a pesticide applicator license from DOEE. The training will supply participants with general knowledge of proper management practices concerning pesticide use.

Register here.

Other Trainings

Sustainable Urban Agriculture Certificate: The 20-hour program is designed to give participants an overview of urban agriculture. Participants will explore garden design, food safety, how to grow and maintain plants, agricultural entrepreneurship and the functionality of hydroponic and aquaponic systems.

Sustainable agriculture is a rapidly expanding professional field that allows those practicing it to produce healthy, abundant crops, preserve environmental services, improve neighborhood health, and create new entrepreneurial opportunities. Participants will also be introduced to the economic, environmental and social impacts of sustainable agriculture.

Volunteer Leaders Training: Volunteers have been an integral part of the success of 4-H since the 1920s, serving as club and project leaders, camp counselors, and even as trainers and mentors.  4-H adult volunteers have the unique opportunity to make a positive contribution to youth development by sharing learned skills. The 4-H Volunteer Leaders Training prepares adults to assist youth in managing 4-H clubs and activities. Learn how to support youth in learning about leadership and opportunities that help them to meet their full potential.

EPA-Renovation, Repair and Painting Program Certification Course:All contractors who renovate, repair and/or paint residential buildings, child care facilities and pre-schools built before 1978 must have EPA certified renovators and follow lead-safe work practices. Those who do not expose themselves to the risk of a $37,000 fine. This course is designed to help contractors avoid this risk by maintaining compliance with EPA standards.

Introduction to Green Infrastructure & Low Impact Development: Low Impact Development (LID) is typically defined as a stormwater management design framework aimed at minimizing the negative impacts of stormwater runoff. LID includes: mimicking pre-development hydrology, tree conservation, maximizing open space, maintenance, structural practices, and education.  This course addresses LID in the contexts of design, planning, implementation, and maintenance.  The introductory course is designed for planners, engineers, landscape architects, realtors, surveyors, and local governments. This introductory course gives an overview of LID from a holistic perspective. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to apply principles learned in design and review scenarios, identify intricate components of an LID, and understand how each component functions and contributes to the overall system.

Integrating Urban Agriculture & Urban Stormwater Management: This workshop will highlight the University of the District of Columbia’s Sustainability Program, which seeks to integrate urban agriculture and urban stormwater management. The workshop will highlight green infrastructure, low impact development, federal, state, public-private partnerships, and a unique partnership with the D.C. Housing Authority. It will also include an evaluation of economics and social impacts. Participants will engage in a design charrette for an integrated urban agriculture/urban storm water project in DC.

Introduction to Proactive Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship requires a complete commitment to mastering complex business, leadership, and life skills.  Proactive entrepreneurship requires these skills, in addition to a thorough understanding of the leadership capacity required of the startup’s founders, key management and support team.  The course plan is to cover the curriculum described below in five 90-minute sessions.  Students will be required to draft and edit a business plan for a proposed company, and to make a presentation requesting funding, strategic partnership, or other critical resources from experienced finance professionals and local angel investors.

Survey Fundamentals and Data Collection and Descriptive Data Analysis and Presentation: Each 90-minute, non-technical workshop is for community leaders, developers, and residents who have a desire to use survey-based and data oriented tools to improve their work. The first workshop covers the basics of survey design and data collection. The second workshop covers concepts in central tendency measurements and commonly available ways of presenting data using Microsoft Excel. Registration fee for each workshop is $25 (material included) and you will receive a discounted rate of $40 if you register for both.

Lead Worker Abatement Class: UDC is offering training for individuals interested in becoming certified lead abatement workers. Attendees of the two-day course will: 1) Engage in interactive classroom training; 2) Participate in a small classroom setting and one on one training; 3) Receive a comprehensive manual to keep for future reference; 4) Engage in hands on training in a state-of-the-art containment room; and 5) Receive a Lead Abatement Worker Certificate of Completion.

Introduction to Urban Bio Intensive Agriculture:  This course constitutes 15 total contact hours and enrollees may choose between two options or select an individual course(s).

Option 1: Urban Agriculture Techniques, will cover Principles of Sustainable Agriculture, High Efficiency Production Methods for Urban Growers and Urban Agriculture Innovations.

Option 2: Business Principles in Urban Agriculture, will cover principles of sustainable agriculture, urban agriculture, site planning and design, and business principles of sustainable agriculture.  Principles of Sustainable Agriculture is a required course and must be taken before enrolling in any other certificate program offering.

Introduction to Composting:  A constant supply of fresh compost is ideal for many community garden sites and residents who want to grow flowers or fresh produce. Composting helps to turn food scrap and yard waste into healthy and nutritious soil that can be used for gardening. However, the garden site should meet basic requirements in order to host a composting system

During this course we will discuss these requirements and ensure that students are prepared to start a small composting project.

Aquaponics/Hydroponics Technician Certification: Aquaponics refers to a food production method that combines the fields of aquaculture (fish production) and hydroponics (growing vegetables in water). Aquaculture is defined as raising aquatic organisms such as fish and shrimp; Hydroponics is defined as growing plants in nutrient rich water without soil. The waste created by the fish serves as fertilizer for the vegetable plants. The technique, therefore, allows for a synergistic system in which fish and plants are grown together for mutual benefit.  This certificate program equips participants with the knowledge to design, build, and operate aquaponic and hydroponic systems. Participants will engage in the hands-on operation and maintenance of a full scale aquaponic system to gain a deep understanding of the technology and its applications.

Beginning Beekeeping Certificate Course: This introductory beekeeping course provides the resources and knowledge needed to successfully and responsibly keep bees in the District of Columbia. Taught by active beekeepers, this course will cover beekeeping equipment; colony dynamics; diseases, parasites, and pests; startup requirements; floral sources; and seasonal factors. Students attending all eight classes will receive a certificate of completion.

SMART Nutrition (“Safe, Manageable, Affordable, Relevant, and Tasty Nutrition to Support Healthy Aging):  “SMART Nutrition” is an acronym for Safe, Manageable, Affordable, Relevant, and Tasty nutrition geared toward senior residents. This 8-session certificate course is designed to give senior citizens practical healthy aging and chronic disease prevention strategies with a sustainable food, nutrition, and physical activity emphasis. Participants will engage in interactive nutrition education, healthy food budgeting, cooking demonstration, physical activity, nutrition policy, service, and peer coaching activities that will enable them to enhance their personal lives and better serve their community. The adapted evidence-based Eat Smart, Live Strong curriculum for older adults and the University of the District of Columbia Urban Food Hubs Model will serve as the core foundation of the certificate group sessions and service activities.

Engaging Youth in Urban Agriculture: (Workshop for Educators): This course is designed for adults working with children and includes innovative ways of engaging them in agriculture. The course addresses elementary, middle school and high school youth. The course includes experiential learning activities that is engaging and fun. The program includes a field trip to a local school garden and projects and ideas about engaging teens in a farmer’s market.

Community CPR: Heartsaver® First Aid CPR AED is a video-based, instructor-led course that teaches students critical skills needed to respond to and manage an emergency until emergency medical services arrive. Skills covered in this course include first aid; choking relief in adults, children, and infants; and procedures for sudden cardiac arrest in adults, children, and infants. This course teaches skills with the AHA’s research-proven practice-while-watching technique, which allows instructors to observe the students, provide feedback, and guide the students’ learning of skills. This course is for anyone with limited or no medical training who is seeking a course completion card in CPR and AED use to meet job, regulatory, or other requirements.

Volunteer Training:  Volunteers play an integral role in the success of many organizations.  CAUSES relies heavily on the contributions of hardworking volunteers. The CAUSES Volunteer training program provides a framework of processes and procedures that volunteers in any organization should expect. Volunteers will be engaged in activities and group projects that successfully teach essential concepts that must be mastered before they begin their volunteer service.  All participants will need to register for this training via the Volgistics System online and pass a criminal background checks. The certificate will qualify volunteers to work in any CAUSES programs.

More workforce development trainings offered by UDC can be found here.