NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The New Jersey American Planning Association (NJAPA)
chapter honored Mr. Roland Whitley, Jr. with the Budd Chavooshian Award for an Outstanding Professional Planner at the State Planning Conference November 2, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. This year’s awards selection was unusually difficult with the chapter receiving numerous outstanding submissions and the awards committee deliberating long and hard. Mr. Whitley is the Founder/Executive Director for Community Technical Assistance, Inc. (CTA). He has successfully empowered low-to-moderate income citizens to create their own environments, to improve their quality of life, and to become leaders in their communities. Mr. Whitley has over 13 years of experience in community development within the urban context and manages more than 15 employees and oversees 4 departmental sections, Public Health, Housing and Neighborhood Stabilization, Community and Economic Development, and Technical Assistance.
CTA is located in the City of East Orange, NJ, a low-tomoderate income community. The organizations Transforming Distressed Communities (TDC) program is a truly innovative and commendable endeavor which recognized a need to increase awareness of planning and engage youth and residents in decision making. The TDC program is an applied learning based program which targets middle and high school public school students, linking their academic education with local hands-on community development projects.
Through the program, CTA seeks to :
1) increase awareness of community development planning with middle and high school students who attend public school in low income and minority communities
2) Enable students to apply the planning process to real world community projects which promote healthy environments
3) Increase the number of minority planners from disadvantaged communities in the planning profession.
Mr. Whitley has provided development of college students at the undergraduate and graduate levels within the planning profession who have continued to become licensed professional planners. In addition, he has trained and mentored middle and high school students to become leaders and pursue planning and public health as their professions.
Community Technical Assistance, Inc. (CTA) mission as a New Jersey based 501(c) (3) non-profit organization is to provide technical assistance in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods in order for youth, residents, community-based and faith-based organizations to transform their distressed community.