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Two California Cities and an Arizona University Receive Grants for Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training

Release Date: 06/13/2013
Contact Information: California: David Yogi, yogi.david@epa.gov, 415.972.3355; Arizona: Rusty Harris-Bishop, harris-bishop.rusty@epa.gov, 415.972.3140

(06/13/13) SAN FRANCISCO – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the selection of 16 grantees for a total award of $3.2 million through the agency's Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) program. The grants support local work to recruit, train, and place unemployed individuals in jobs that address environmental challenges in their communities. By providing Americans in economically disadvantaged communities with job training in environmental health and safety, EWDJT funding helps protect people’s health and the environment while supporting local economies.

“EPA continues to provide communities with funding to deliver valuable job training to individuals living in communities impacted by harmful pollution,” said Enrique Manzanilla, Division Director in EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “This on-the-job training provides Americans struggling to find work with valuable experience while strengthening public health and local economies.”

EPA’s Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training program, which provides environmental and health and safety training, helps graduates develop a broader set of skills that improves their ability to secure short-term contractual work, as well as full-time, employment in the environmental field. Program graduates acquire training and certifications in a variety of areas, such as environmental health and safety, lead and asbestos abatement, landfill management, wastewater treatment, brownfields assessment and cleanup, Superfund cleanup, leaking underground storage tank removal, recycling and emergency response.


The City of Oxnard, California is one of the grantees awarded $200,000.00; the city plans to train 55 students and place 45 graduates in environmental jobs. The city is targeting unemployed and underemployed migrant and Native American workers, veterans, ex-offenders, high school dropouts, homeless individuals, and other disadvantaged residents in Oxnard. Key partners include Ventura Community College, Rural Community Assistance Corporation, the Center for Creative Land Recycling, the Center for Employment and Training, and the Saviers Road Design Team, a local community-based organization involved with the Halaco Superfund site.

The City of Richmond, California is one of the grantees awarded $200,000.00; the city plans to train 60 students and place 45 graduates in environmental jobs. The city is targeting low-income, unemployed, and underemployed residents of Richmond, with a particular focus on minorities. The city has also partnered with several local entities, such as the Economic Development and Housing Authorities, to successfully place graduates of the program.

Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona is a recipient of one of the $200,000.00 grants and plans to train 36 students and place 35 graduates in environmental jobs. The university is targeting unemployed residents of the Navajo Nation, particularly those living in communities impacted by uranium mining and cleanup activities. Key partners include the Navajo Nation Department of Workforce Development, Navajo Nation EPA, Navajo Nation Office of Economic Development-Church Rock and Shiprock Chapters, and Navajo Nation Council Delegates.

As of May 2013 more than 11,000 Americans have completed environmental workforce development and job training, of which, more than 8,000 have obtained employment in the environmental field with an average starting hourly wage of $14.12.


See the EPA Website for more information on environmental workforce development and job training grants: http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/pilot_grants.htm.


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