The National Standards Certification Board (NSCB) has found its first state partner for the resource management training field in the Land of Enchantment.

The New Mexico Recycling Coalition (NMRC), which provides recycling and composting training certification courses year-round, became the first state-level recycling association to be certified by NSCB. Acting as the certifying body of the National Recycling Coalition (NRC), the NSCB was developed as part of the Recycling Organizations of North America before the organization’s recent merger with NRC.

NSBC board member Gary Liss explained to Resource Recycling that the certifying body has been seven years in the making, with a U.S. Department of Labor grant proving especially vital to the development of the program. Since its inception, Liss said, the goal of the board has centered on ensuring that resource management professionals across the country “have a good, solid foundation” in doing their work in an environmentally sustainable manner.

While details of the certification have yet to be announced, Liss said New Jersey will likely become the second program to be certified by NSCB.

The group’s first pick seemed to epitomize the kind of certification program NSCB wanted to support, Liss added in a press release announcing the certification. “All the stakeholders in this process recognized that while there were a number of exceptional professional training and certification efforts going on throughout North America, certification did not mean the same thing in every program. We now have a standard that enhances and gives additional credibility to programs that meet the accreditation criteria.”

NMRC executive director English Bird stressed that the accreditation will further boost the already successful training program. “It should provide an opportunity for an expansion of our efforts while broadening the knowledge base of our members,” Bird stated in the announcement.

Several states, including Pennsylvania, Illinois and California, are currently pursuing NSCB certification and a host of states are in discussions to develop training programs.