New Job Training Program Gives Eager Participants Knowledge, Hands-On Experience, and a Path to Success in Property Management

This month, National CORE was proud to launch CORE Academy, an exciting new property management training program that will help low-income Inland Empire residents access well-paying careers with clear advancement opportunities.

The four April pilot classes were reserved for National CORE residents, who jumped at the opportunity to gain new skills through the innovative program. Registration for CORE Academy filled up within 48 hours of flyers being posted at a handful of National CORE communities. Since then, CORE Academy’s wait list has grown to 90 people.

National CORE Director of Learning and Development Angel Rogers, who is sharing her 30 years of property management experience as CORE Academy’s mastermind and primary instructor, says she gets emails every day asking about the program.

“I see myself being able to teach CORE Academy for the rest of the year, and I would be fine with that,” Rogers said, beaming. “I love it. This is what I’ve always wanted to do.”

Years ago, Rogers began envisioning National CORE teaching an “A to Z property management curriculum.” This month’s expedited CORE Academy program taught everything from entry-level leasing to property maintenance, marketing to financials, and legal aspects to the management of affordable housing. Rogers aims for CORE Academy to expand to a 16-session course, with National CORE partnering with Chaffey College to offer a certificate.

After classroom learning, participants witnessed the leasing process by “mystery shopping” for apartments. They then took a field trip to Monterrey Village, where the onsite staff shared “A Day In Their Life” and demonstrated a tour of an apartment. Rogers also brought in National CORE employees who have exhibited the kind of huge career advancement that is possible. Guest speakers Courtney Richard (Vice President of Property Management and Relocation) and Arlene Ortiz (Regional Manager) both were first hired as entry-level leasing agents.

National CORE aims to expand the program to include a separate property maintenance track, offering “learning labs” where participants learn hands-on how to fix everything in an apartment.

“This is a program that fills two gaps. It fills the need for an easy-to-access career path for low-income individuals and residents in affordable housing, where, without a college degree, and without a lot of formal training, they can enter into a career where there’s real potential for upward mobility,” said National CORE Senior Vice President of Social Impact Greg Bradbard. “You can start as a leasing agent, then you can become an assistant manager, then a community manager, then a regional manager.”

At the same time, Bradbard continued, with “the housing crisis across California, as we continue to build more housing and build more apartments and affordable housing, we need good people who are qualified to be able to run those facilities. So, we’re also addressing that gap.”

On Friday, April 22, the first CORE Academy class graduated. “I thought it was really good because it was new information. And I think our instructor Angel made it really easy to be able to retain that amount of newness in a way that was really clear and concise,” said Amber, one of 14 graduates. “It gives me enough to at least feel comfortable and have some confidence in going toward that field.”

Rogers was very impressed with the participants’ ability to pick up the information.

“I can tell you that there’s a few people in this class that I would absolutely hire in a heartbeat,” said Rogers. “Absolutely.”