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EPA Announces Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grants

Release Date: 06/21/2012
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Jennah Durant at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(DALLAS – June 21, 2012) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that Limitless Vistas, Inc., New Orleans, the Arkansas Construction Education Foundation, Little Rock and North Little Rock, and the City of Camden, Arkansas, have been selected to receive 2012 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training grants. Each grant selectee will receive $200,000.

“Through our Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Program, the EPA continues to sow the seeds of environmental and economic success,” said Acting EPA Regional Administrator Sam Coleman. “These grants build on EPA’s commitment to working with communities to hand down a healthier and more prosperous future for the next generation.”

Limitless Vistas, Inc. (LVI) will use its grant to train 40 students, place at least 32 graduates in environmental jobs and track graduates success for one year. LVI will select residents of the economically disadvantaged New Orleans communities of Gert Town and Central City, (both of which were negatively impacted by Hurricane Katrina) for participation in the program. Key partners include the New Orleans Neighborhood Development Collaboration, Greater King Solomon Baptist Church, and the Gert Town Community Development Center.

The Arkansas Construction Education Foundation (ACEF) plans to train 90 students, place 72 graduates in environmental jobs, and track graduates for one year. ACEF is selecting unemployed and underemployed homeless individuals in Little Rock, North Little Rock, and central Arkansas for participation in the program. Key partners include Better Community Development, Inc., Our House Shelter, the Little Rock Workforce Investment Board, Snyder Environmental, and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

The City of Camden plans to train 45 students, place at least 36 graduates in environmental jobs and track graduates for at least one year. The city will recruit students through the Arkansas Workforce Center, and will select low-income, minority, unemployed and underemployed residents of Camden, as well as veterans transitioning back into civilian life for participation in the program. Other key partners include Arkansas Environmental Training Academy, Southern Arkansas University Tech, and the Southwest Arkansas Workforce Investment Board.

Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training grant funds are provided to nonprofit organizations and other eligible entities to recruit, train, and place unemployed and under-employed residents from predominantly low-income and minority communities. Students learn the skills needed to secure full-time, sustainable employment in the environmental field, including a focus on assessment and cleanup activities. To date, EPA has funded 191 job training grants totaling over $42 million through the former Brownfields Job Training Program and newly expanded Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Program. As of January 2012, approximately 10,275 individuals had completed training and approximately 7,155 obtained employment in the environmental field, with an average starting hourly wage of $14.12. This equates to a cumulative placement rate of approximately 70% for the program, and also includes accomplishments data recorded since the program was created in 1998.

More information about the Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Program is available at http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicat.htm

More about activities in EPA Region 6 is available at http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.html

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