Park Ridge, IL - The National Association of Counties' (NACo) GIS Committee recently issued a letter of support for the GIS Certification Institute's (GISCI) certification program for Geographic Information Systems Professionals (GISPs). The letter was read and recorded by the NACo Board of Directors at their meeting held in conjunction with the July 2007 NACo Annual Conference in Richmond, Virginia.

"The GIS Committee of the National Association of Counties supports the work of GISCI for promoting good business practice," said the Honorable Randy Johnson, Chair of the NACo GIS Committee. "We believe that [GISCI's] work strengthens the various professions within the GIS industry by promoting a strict adherence to a sensible code of ethics, defining minimal cognitive standards for GIS professionals, and encouraging long term professional development."

NACo is the national organization that represents county governments in the United States. Founded in 1935, NACo provides essential leadership services to the nation's counties. NACo's membership works in more than 2,000 of the nation's 3,066 counties. These counties represent over 80 percent of the nation’s population.

"This is a major development," said GISCI President Bruce Joffe, GISP. "NACo's recognition of GISCI's professional certification program indicates that our GIS industry is maturing into a profession. People with GISP certification have been experiencing a competitive advantage in the workplace, as significant employers, and now professional associations, are recognizing the benefit that GISP certification brings to their organizations."

Earlier this year, GISCI was invited to present the certification program and its benefits to the NACo GIS Committee during NACo’s March Legislative Conference in Washington DC. The theme of the presentation was how the professional and ethical standards proposed by GISCI can be helpful to county managers, GIS departments and employees. Currently, county employees comprise over 20% of the total number of GISPs.

GISCI is an independent, non-profit organization providing the GIS community with a complete and voluntary certification program. There are 1,664 Certified GIS Professionals (GISPs) as of July 25, 2007. For more information regarding the GISCI certification program, please visit www.gisci.org or call (847) 824-7768.