Homeword is committed to providing safe, healthy affordable housing using sustainable methods and promoting strong communities through housing counseling and education for those most in need.

The Importance of Education

  • posted by Jessica Burson
The Importance of Education

- by guest writer Lisa Swallow

I have been involved with Homeword since 2005, when a dear old college friend, Josh Slotnick, asked me to join the Board of Directors. As a professor in both sustainable business and accounting, and an advocate for homes people can afford, the fit was immediately apparent. I am a big believer in education around financial fitness and asset building, and strongly support the connection between security in one’s home (and life) and learning how to budget, save, set goals and the like. I was involved with the earliest Financial Fitness classes and really enjoyed watching our clients prosper and become empowered around taking charge of their own finances. I continue to support Homeword both personally and professionally, celebrating the success their clients experience and knowing it will benefit them for years to come.

I have been a professor at Missoula College at the University of Montana since 1994, and since then it has been my pleasure to teach and work with a multitude of Homeword clients in the classroom. Missoula College offers one-year certificates and two-year associates degrees in a number of departments including Industrial Technology, Applied Arts & Sciences, Business Technology, Applied Computing & Electronics and Health Sciences. We are moving into a new beautiful LEED-certified building on the Clark Fork River across from Washington Grizzly Stadium, and we would love to see more Homeword clients and supporters come check out the facility, the professors and the programs. Start by perusing www.mc.umt.edu. Our tuition structure and core curriculums are designed to get you out into the workplace in a career that provides a living wage in our region.

One of our newest initiatives is a registered apprenticeship in Accounting Technology. This encourages students to “learn and earn” and is designed to encourage students to partner with a local employer and take classes and work in the accounting field simultaneously. This program is currently in the pilot phase and, as we scale up, we would love to tell you more about it. Please contact Jimmie Rude at JRude2@mt.gov or Lisa Swallow at lisa.swallow@umontana.edu to learn more about this exciting opportunity. Because education provides a critical foundation for life, it’s my pleasure to be involved both as a supporter of Homeword’s work and as a resource for many in our community as they seek to better their futures.